Basil (photo by hzaida)

Basil Pesto
Serves: 4

¼ cup walnuts

¼ cup pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups basil (approx. 2 ounces)
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
½ cup extra virgin olive oil + 1/2 T. for roasting nuts
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated

  1. Using a small sauté pan, heat ½ T. of olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add walnuts and sauté for 2 minutes.
  3. Add pine nuts and sauté for 2 minutes.  Note:  the nuts should now smell fragrant.  Make sure you watch the pine nuts closely as they burn easily.
  4. Using a food processor, add nuts and garlic mix until smooth.
  5. Add basil, salt, pepper and ¼ cup olive oil mix until smooth.
  6. Add ¼ cup olive oil and parmesan cheese and mix again.  Note: if you are using a food processor with a tube attachment, you may leave the processor running and slowly add your olive oil via the tube.


Cooking Notes:

  • For this recipe you will want to select a good olive oil.  Something that will taste good if you dunked a piece of bread in it vs. using the oil you strictly use for cooking.
  • Same with the parmesan cheese.  You will want to select a tasty parmesan cheese. A hard cheese, like parmesan reggiano.


Chicken Marinade (photo by hzaida)


Chicken Marinade
Serving: 1 package of chicken tenders (approx. 1 pound)

¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. spicy brown mustard
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

  1. Remove any fat and sinew from 1 package of chicken tenders.
  2. Pour the liquid ingredients evenly over chicken.
  3. Sprinkle the seasoning, salt and pepper evenly over chicken.
  4. Marinate chicken while preparing the pesto recipe.

You have the recipes, now it is time to make this delicious dish. 

Let’s start by cleaning then marinating the chicken.  Next simply make the pesto by following the directions above.  After your pesto is made, set aside… you are on the home stretch. 

Fire up your grill at the same time you start boiling salted water for your pasta.  The water should taste like the ocean.  I prefer to use a multigrain angel hair but please use your favorite pasta.  You will need 1/2 the box if you are preparing 4 servings.  Drop the pasta then start barbecuing your tenders.  You will find that the pasta and chicken will be done roughly about the same time. 

While your pasta is draining, yank your chicken off the grill and let your tenders rest while you gently mix the pesto into your pasta.  I prefer to use the same pot I boiled in because it should still be warm and will help meld your pesto and pasta together.

To serve, top your prepared pasta with whole or sliced barbecued tenders.  Grate some of the yummy parmesan cheese on top.

Enjoy! From my kitchen to yours.

Pesto Dish (photo by hzaida)