This versatile pasta dish makes a delicious lunch or main course: additions include finely sliced celery, pitted small black olives, roasted red or yellow capsicum strips, soft goats cheese. It's also a goodie for the school lunchbox if you omit the chicken.
- Prep Time : 15-20 minutes
- Cook Time : 10 minutes
- Yield : 4
- short pasta (spirals/fusilli are best) - 500g
- chicken tenderloins - 6, about 400g, sinews removed
- garlic - 1 -2 cloves, crushed
- olive oil - 1 tablespoon
- cherry or grape tomatoes - 1 punnet (200g), washed and cut in half lengthways
- homemade basil pesto - 1/2 cup
- pasta cooking water - 1/2 cup
- freshly grated parmesan cheese - 1/2 cup, grated or shaved
- salt and freshly cracked pepper
Season the tenderloins with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in frying pan, add the garlic and tenderloins and cook until golden, about 3 -4 minutes on each side. Be careful not to let the garlic burn. Add the tomatoes and toss until just warmed through.
Remove tenderloins with tongs and cut into bite-size pieces
Cook the fusilli in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, following packet instructions, until just tender (about 8 - 10 minutes). Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
Return pasta cooking water to the pan, add the pesto and stir over low heat until smooth. Add the pasta and toss well to combine. Add the chicken and tomatoes and toss well. Season to taste. Serve with freshly grated parmesan.
If not using immediately, store in a plastic container in the refrigerator.