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Chicken Pesto Pasta

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been listening closely to Salt, Fat, Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat, which has inspired me to be more mindful when I am cooking. One dish that I decided to apply this to was a simple Allrecipes chicken pesto pasta dish, which seemed like an easy place to start.

Salt This dish has a fair amount of salt, not only from the salty ingredients like the sun dried tomatoes and the olive slices, but also from the pasta, which is cooked in boiled salted water. One of the main suggestions from Nosrat’s book is not to be afraid to use an adequate dose of salt, and it was definitely hard to put this principle into practice. However, I have to say that the pasta tasted better after the water was salted to taste ‘like the sea’
Fat This dish has a moderate amount of fat, mostly from the olive oil used to cook the dish and preserve the sun-dried tomatoes. If I had to redo this dish, I would consider adding some cream to the pesto.
Acid There wasn’t a lot of acid in this dish — maybe some from the tomatoes. In retrospect, maybe some additional lemon / lime might have helped
Heat I was pretty happy at the use of heat in the dish — I used it to saute the chicken, and also to cook the pasta al dente. I think I overcooked the chicken just a bit, but maybe that is preferable when dealing with kids and the risk of food poisoning.

Although the recipe was pretty simple especially with the video guidance, I’ll walk through it below. I first sliced up the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

I then cooked the pasta and seasoned with pesto:

I concurrently seasoned the chicken with red pepper chili flakes, then cooked the chicken until golden brown. In the skillet pan, I then added chopped olives and sliced sundried tomatoes:

I mixed the pasta and chicken together and served everything on a plate!

It was a hit, even with our picky two-year-old eater. Looking back, it was fun making this dish — I’m sure I’ll improve on it in the future!

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