There is Always Time for the Grill-More Girls – Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

There is not a scent that I love more than the scent of basil.  It brings me back to Sundays in my Nonna’s house circa 1980.  In fact, Nonno grew the softest, sweetest basil I have yet to see anywhere else.  Even the basil we grow in our garden does not compare.  Why so much talk about basil?  Well it’s the key ingredient in this week’s Grill-More Girls.  The basil serves as both the marinade and sauce of the chicken and the pasta.  So here we go….

This week I made Chicken Pesto Pasta and this is seriously, very easy to make and delicious.  I normally use all homemade ingredients, but I will share some easy shortcuts for those of you who are pressed for time.

First and foremost, the Pesto

3 cups of clean basil leaves (stems removed)

3 gloves of garlic

2 cups of Virgin Olive Oil

1 cup of Parmesan grated cheese

option – 2 tablespoons of pignoli nuts

Blend all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and that is about it!  No time to make the pesto, here is a quick tip: Buitoni makes an excellent pesto sauce that can be found in the refrigerated aisle next to the cheeses. One container will suffice for this recipe.

Second, the Chicken

1 heaping tablespoon of pesto sauce

1/4 cup of olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Mix the ingredients together and pour over the chicken.  Marinate for up to 24 hours.

Lastly, the Pasta

1 box of Ditalini pasta

2 cups of feta

2 cups of cherry tomatoes sliced in half

2 cups of already sliced olives

2 cups of sliced roasted peppers (see last week’s post on how to make these)

remaining pesto sauce

Boil pasta according to instructions and once cooked and drained, combine all of the ingredients and mix well.

In the meantime, grill your chicken and place cooked slices over pesto pasta.  This meal is great cold or hot and perfect for summer dining.  Accompany this dish with a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio and …..well let’s just say “bella vita”!

So now its your turn.  Hop on over to The Harried Mom and see what she is cooking this week.  Share with us your grilling recipes by either hopping onto the link or placing your recipe in the comment section.

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