Pesto. I love pesto. I’m a traditionalist and tend to prepare it in the classic Genovese way but recently a friend told me his method, with cream and white wine, and I thought I’d try it.
I loved it! Pesto can sometimes have an overpowering garlic taste (it does contain raw garlic) so this version provides the flavor of pesto but is a little smoother.
If you use the Costco basil pesto then it’s a super quick meal, just perfect for a weeknight.
Weeknight meal: creamy pesto with chicken
1 lb. spaghettini
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup white wine
2/3 cup pesto
3/4 pound leftover rotisserie chicken, torn into bite-sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high flame. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Turn down the heat. Add the wine and let simmer for about 3 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the pesto and chicken.
Drain the pasta. Add to the sauté pan and toss till evenly coated with sauce. Add salt and pepper. Squeeze a lemon over the top. Serve with a side salad.
As Part Two of my summertime Alaska blog series, I tried to harvest a few things such as fiddlehead ferns and fireweed shoots, but I only successfully cooked something using devil’s club.
You’ve probably encountered devil’s club in any Alaska forest. It’s pretty much the last plant you want to encounter because it’s covered top to bottom in sharp thorns that can easily embed themselves in your skin; but in the spring the plants produce short buds covered in premature, soft thorns. This part of the plant is edible. Is it good? That’s what I aimed to find out.
I embarked on my devil’s club hunt on a sunny spring day after the birch trees had started budding. I had no trouble finding a thicket of devil’s club up on the hillside. They all had 1-to-3-inch buds emerging from the dry, wheat-colored stalks. I used a gardening glove to pluck them and collected them in a bucket.
After getting stuck with thorns a few times I felt as though I had enough to work with. On the drive home my car started smelling like an Alaska forest. The devil’s club buds had a spicy, celery-like scent.
I’m in love with the lasagna roll-up. It’s simple, it’s customizable and it’s delicious. I also love pesto. So it only makes sense to combine my two loves to create something super amazing tasty.
Chicken pesto roll-ups!
They were indeed super amazing tasty, but they were more like stuffed shells than lasagna. They weren’t as gooey and cheesy. I would consider using cottage cheese next time or adding some milk to the filling.
Ingredients (I eyeballed everything):
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1/2 cup pesto sauce (Costco has the best store-bought kind, but nothing beats homemade)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese plus 1/4 cup for topping
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a casserole dish. Boil a large pot of salted water and cook noodles according to box directions.
Meanwhile, mix together all the rest of the ingredients. Lay the cooked noodles out on your counter and spread some of the filling on each noodle. Roll up the noodle and place it seam side down in the casserole dish. When all the filling is used up, top the roll-ups with cheese and bake for 30 minutes.