Images © Noel Cunningham

“This pasta salad is simple and straight forward. I tossed it in my signature spicy, basil pesto for an extra kick. Pasta salads are perfect for summer days when it is just too hot to eat a hot pasta dish.” – Chef Noel Cunningham, Cuisine by Noel

 

Pesto Pasta Salad with Pan-seared Chicken Breast
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Caribbean, Jamaican
Author: Noel Cunningham
Ingredients
  • 1/2 pack Barilla Farfalle pasta
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup Chef Cunny’s Spicy Basil Pesto below or use your favourite brand
  • 1 small red sweet pepper sliced
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • For the Pesto:
  • 2 cups fresh  basil blanched
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts lightly toasted
  • 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 scotch bonnet pepper deseeded
Preparation
  1. Make the pesto: in a food processor purée the blanched basil and pine nuts with remaining ingredients until smooth. Keep refrigerated.
  2. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper then place in a heated skillet; sear breasts on both sides until golden brown. Place in oven for 5 minutes and bake at 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C. Let cool before slicing.
  3. Cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta when done, rinse it under cold water and shake out as much of the excess water as you can.
  4. Add the pasta to a bowl with the pesto. Stir to combine so the pasta is totally coated in the pesto. Toss in the grated parmesan and sweet peppers.
  5. Place pasta in the refrigerator to chill. When ready to serve, add to a party cup (like I do) or on a plate topped with grated parmesan cheese and sliced chicken.
RELATED: A Jamaican in the Kitchen: Simple Summer Salads