When you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen and you have a jar of homemade or store bought basil pesto in the refrigerator; this is the perfect dish for you! This creamy pesto pasta with chicken and potatoes has become one one of our weekend favorites! The basil pesto recipe on this blog has no Parmesan cheese that is why I add extra cheese when mixing the pasta with the pesto. If you are using a store bought pesto I suggest you reduce the amount of Parmesan cheese used to mix with the pasta, unless you like it very cheesy 🙂 Also, when using store bought pesto you may not have to add water because it may already have a creamy consistency.
You are probably asking yourself, why is Carmen mixing potatoes with the pasta! The reason why is that we are serving it the traditional way. In Genova, where pesto originated, their favorite pesto applications are on minestrone (vegetarian soup), on pasta or on potato gnocchi. When served over pasta they add boiled potatoes or green beans. Vegetarians could substitute the chicken with the green beans.
- ¾ - 1 cup of basil pesto
- 7 - 9 tablespoons of water
- ½ cup of Parmesan cheese plus ¼ to dust on top of pasta
- 8 oz. of chicken breast cut into cubes
- 2 medium size potatoes
- 1 lb. of boxed pasta (spaghetti, farfalle, linguini)
- 2 bay leaves
- Prepare a large pot of salted boiling water.
- Cut the potatoes and wash under running water.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Grill chicken on the stove or using a George Foreman.
- Cut the chicken in one inch cubes.
- Cook the pasta together with the potato (and green beans if you chose to use them) until the pasta is al dente. By the time the pasta is cooked the potato will also be cooked.
- Before draining the pasta reserve 7 -9 tablespoons of this water. Later it will be mixed with the pesto.
- In a bowl mix the pesto and the reserved hot water. The pesto sauce should have a creamy consistency, not too thick and not too thin.
- Drain the pasta, remove the bay leaves and set the pasta aside.
- In a ceramic bowl mix the pasta, potatoes, chicken and pesto (the green beans if using them.
- Add grated Parmesan cheese and mix again.
- Arrange the pasta in bowls and dust with extra Parmesan cheese.
Did you make this recipe?