I've made this so many times I don't really measure the ingredients anymore, but here's (about) what I do each time - this usually serves 2 small kids, 2 adults and have leftovers for a small lunch for the next day:
- 1 package of dry pasta - cooked. I use whatever pasta I have around.
- 1 chicken breast, cut into strips
- about 1 cup of basil after stems are removed
- about 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts - I just throw them on a foil paper in a toaster oven
- about 1/2 cup of reggiano parmesan cheese - finely grated
- olive oil
- garlic powder
- garlic - about 2 cloves. I usually omit this because the kids complain that the garlic makes the taste 'too strong'. So for a more kid-friendly recipe, omit the garlic :)
- cracked black pepper. Not really necessary but sometimes I add in a few sprinkles for extra flavor
(1) In a frying pan, heat up a little olive oil, put in your chicken strips and season in the pan with some salt, pepper and garlic powder. Pan fry until all sides are browned and inside is cooked all the way through. Put onto plate to cool down, then cut into small pieces.
(2) In a food processor add the basil, pine nuts (save a little bit for garnish) and cheese (and garlic if you want to). Pulse a couple of times then add about 4 tablespoons of good olive.
(3) Blend all ingredients together - add more olive oil or water if mixture is too thick. I like it to be the consistency of chunky peanut butter. This is your pesto sauce :)
(4) In a large serving bowl, pour in your cooked pasta and pesto sauce, toss together well. Add in cut chicken, your extra nuts and a little extra cheese and sprinkle on top. Toss in slightly - not too much or else all your whole pine nuts and chicken will sink to the bottom.
That's it. It gets pretty simple (ie: easier) the more you make it. I think I have mine down to only 20 minutes now.