I love using any type of pesto as a sauce for pasta. I’m going to top the pasta with a really flavorful grilled chicken. The chicken is marinated in a Greek yogurt flavored with blackened seasoning. This is my Arugula Pesto Bowtie Pasta Topped With Grilled Blackened Chicken.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: indoor grill-pan, 1 (10-cup food) processor, 1 (6-quart) saucepot, colander, 2 large mixing bowls, Microplane, vegetable peeler, chef’s knife, hand-held juicer
Ingredients For Arugula Pesto:
1 (15.5-ounce) can of Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (12-ounce) jar roasted Piquillo peppers, drained
2 1/2 cups of baby arugula leaves
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts, toasted
1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
1 lemon juiced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup *E.V.O.O. (may vary slightly)
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano, freshly grated
1 box (1 pound) of bow tie pasta, Barilla
Ingredients For Blackened Grilled Chicken:
2 skinless-boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and sliced into 2 thinner breasts yielding 4 to 6 cutlets (depending on their thickness)
2 cups plain Greek Yogurt, whole fat
2 1/2 tablespoons blackened seasoning
1/4 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsely, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon Agave nectar
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved for garnish
Ingredients For Blackened Seasoning:
3 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Directions For Blackened Seasoning:
In a small mixing bowl add all the spices with the Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, mix to combine. Store in an air-tight container in a cool dry place.
Directions For Blackened Grilled Chicken:
In a large mixing bowl, add Greek Yogurt, Agave nectar, blackened seasoning, finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, Kosher salt, and freshly grated garlic, mix to combine. Add the 4 chicken cutlets Make sure all the chicken cutlets are completely coated with the seasoned yogurt. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and transfer the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Directions For Toasted Pine Nuts:
In a large dry sauté pan, on medium heat. add the pine nuts. Shake the pan over the heat until the nuts become fragrant and golden in color, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Directions For Arugula Pesto:
In a food processor, add the Piquillo peppers and toasted pine nuts. Pulse until puréed then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Again to the food processor, add the Cannellini beans, lemon juice, garlic, Kosher salt, black pepper, arugula. Pulse 3 to 5 times. Through the feed tube, slowly add the *E.V.O.O. while pulsing. Continue to pulse until it reaches a smooth paste-like consistency. Remove the lid, add the grated cheese, pulse a few more time just until cheese is combined. If the pesto needs to be thinned out add a little more *E.V.O.O. Transfer the bowl containing the Piquillo pepper and pine nuts purée, stir to combine. Set aside.
Preheat an indoor grill pan on medium-high heat. Using a pair of tongs, remove the cutlets one at a time allowing the excess marinade to drip before placing them onto the grill pan. Grill the first side for 3 to 4 minutes, flip the chicken and grill for another 3 minutes until cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, slice on the bias.
In a large pot of salted boiling water drop the pasta. Cook the bowtie pasta according to the box instructions, 10 to 12 minutes, until al dente. Drain well. Toss the hot pasta with the arugula pesto. Transfer to a large serving bowl.
Top the pasta with the sliced grilled blackened chicken. Garnish with shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serve hot. There you have it, my Arugula Pesto Bowtie Pasta Topped With Grilled Blackened Chicken.
*E.V.O.O. is an acronym for Extra Virgin Olive Oil.