Chicken Pesto Pasta

Pasta? Say wha??? Do you even know what pasta tastes like anymore? I sure don't. I don't even crave pasta anymore. Chocolate cake, now that is a whole different ball game. I really like chocolate, like really. I sometimes throw all my morals and beliefs to the wind and dive in, head first, into a bag of chocolate covered walnuts. Did I have melted chocolate on my lulu spandex last week? Yes. Judge me, do it. Honey Badger don't care. If you knew what those chocolate morsels of heaven tasted like, you would have no morals either.

Anywho, pasta dishes are still tempting in the fact they have a ton of cheese piled on top and are usually garnished with something that makes it look even tastier than it actually is. You know what commercials I'm talking about, f*cking Olive Garden. Damn your bread sticks. Damn them. Well, basil pesto is seriously so freaking good. BUT, have you ever looked at the price/lb on pine nuts? Eff that. There is no way I'm spending that kind of money just to make pesto. I'd rather eat the basil leaves by themselves then wash it down with a garlic clove. Ew. So I tried my play with a pesto using macadamia nuts. Those things are kind of expensive too, but not nearly as stupid as pine nuts. This pesto is so delicious, and you don't even need parmesan for extra flavor. I'm sure you could make this dish with walnuts or even pecans. Don't quote me on this though. I have no idea what I'm doing in the kitchen. Or in life. So why would you trust me? It's because I quote the Honey Badger video isn't it? Thought so.

What you need:
For the Pesto--
  • 2/3 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1-1.5 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste
For the Pasta--
  • 1.5 lb chicken breasts or thighs, cooked and chopped
  • 2 zucchini (I used Mexican grey squash because they were all out of zucchini. Weird, I know)
  • 2 yellow squash
  • tarragon, to top off with
What you do:
  1. Let's get the chicken ready first since that will take a little bit to cook through. Cook the chicken however you would like. Boil it, grill it, pan cook it. Whatever you like best. I cooked mine in a pan because they were breast tenders and cooked through pretty quickly.
  2. While the chicken cooks, pull out your incredibly awesome mandoline. Don't have one? Well that's stupid. Go by one. They are cheap and you can find them anywhere. Even the grocery store.
  3. Thinly slice your zucchini and squash length wise into thin strips. Then use a knife to cut them into noodles. Kind of like fettuccine noodle size.
  4. Now make your pesto. But be sure that you're not over cooking your chicken. Don't ignore the chicken!! Anyways, pull out your food processor. I know, so many utensils. Stop complaining.
  5. Add all your pesto ingredients to your food process and mix away! Taste it to see if you need more salt and pepper or even more lemon, olive oil, or basil in it. Your pesto, your flavor.
  6. Now for the shabang. Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to a large pot or skillet. Then add in your zucchini and squash along with your pesto and mix well. Let that cook down a bit, stirring occasionally, while you cut up your chicken into bite size happy cubes.
    Throw in the chicken and mix everything together. Let simmer on low for 5 minutes or so or until the zucchini and squash are tender and "al dente" or however you like your "pasta". "You know what I'm saying?" Ok, the quotes didn't work there. Serve with a bit of tarragon on top.
look at all those noodles!

no, that's split pea soup. paleo-ers hate those legumes.

don't you love pictures on my balcony? good lighting.
Grocery Store Helper:
  • Fresh Basil Leaves: bought at Sunflower Market
  • Macadamia nuts: bought in bulk at Sunflower Market
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