Farfalle Pasta with Chicken and Spinach Pesto

But of course I’m not done showing you pasta, why do you ask?


I feel like I need to assure you that I’m not in fact horsing on these pasta dishes every single night of my life. One cannot get so lucky.

Plus it’s all about balance, ya know. Balance between pasta, tacos and pizza, AHMEANRAWT?

I also feel the need to confess that I am in fact 13 years old and o.b.s.e.s.s.e.d. with American Idol yet once again. Unfortunately for my eyes and fragile heart there’s no Phillip Phillips candy cane like last year. (still not over it) But this year….THIS year the girls simply slay my earholes. Specifically: Kree (she makes me weepy), Candice (I had no idea voices could even do that), Angie (wanna stick her in my uterus), and Amber (those LEGS.) The boys this year were a hilarious pot of dookie. But whatever. Are you watching? Do you have favorites? Should I have kept this entire paragraph to myself?

bow1  bow2

UMMMMM, ALSO, a freaking HUGE WILD TURKEY just walked through my back yard. A WILD TURKEY. As in, five seconds ago! I just ran around the house in my janky robe screaming to Aaron, “THERE’S AN OSTRICH DRAGON IN OUR YARD!” over and over and it was super cute. (he disagrees) But seriously, a wild turkey? I thought those were extinct. Just kidding. We don’t live in the forest, TURKEY. I’ll never get the image out of my brain. Just a hoppity hip hop hop across the yard. I’m still freaked out. And still fairly positive it comes from a long lineage of ostrich dragons.

bow3  bow4

While I still have you (hello? …), I wanted to tell you about this uber (I hate that word, why did I just use it?) snappy pasta and chicken dinner for the winner.

What we have here is a silky spinach and basil pesto (with pistachios!), slightly creamed up with a baby dash of milk, seared chicken all chopped up into little bites of splendor, all nestled and coated around some gorgeously toothy farfalle pasta. Also known as bow tie. Also known as hot diggidy do.


Dinner tonight? Yep.

Farfalle Pasta with Chicken and Spinach Pesto:

What it took for 4:

* 1/3 cup, plus 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* 2 chicken breasts (about a pound)
* 5 oz baby spinach
* 1 cup fresh basil leaves
* 1/4 cup pistachios
* 4 cloves garlic
* 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
* 1 pound farfalle (bow tie) pasta
* 1/3 cup milk (less or more depending on how it looks!)
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and place in the pan. Cover with the lid and sear for 6 minutes on one side. Flip and sear 5 to 6 more minutes, or until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and tent to rest. After a few minutes, chop the chicken into bite-sized chunks.

In a food processor, place the spinach, basil, pistachios, garlic and cheese. With the motor running, add the remaining 1/3 cup of oil in a steady stream. If you need a little more for the consistency you like, ger fer ert. Season with salt and pepper and give another blitz.

In the meantime, boil the pasta until al dente. Drain all but about 1/4th cup pasta water and return the pasta to the pot.

To the pasta, add the pesto, chicken, and milk. Toss to combine it all. Give another pinch of salt and pepper if needed!

Serve with more grated parmesan and a freaking mountain of garlic bread.



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40 Responses to Farfalle Pasta with Chicken and Spinach Pesto

  1. Ashley April 11, 2013 at 7:56 am #
    Dang... Farfalle has never looked so good! I'm mentally devouring this right now.
  2. Tieghan April 11, 2013 at 8:00 am #
    Like whoa! You were not kidding about the past this week! I love it!! And this dish look beautiful! Spinach pesto! Yum, yes please!
  3. Jen @ Savory Simple April 11, 2013 at 8:09 am #
    I need!
  4. Aggie April 11, 2013 at 8:19 am #
    This looks fantastic! Love the bowties and all the green :)
  5. Heather @ Heather's Dish April 11, 2013 at 8:19 am #
    Please make pasta every day for the rest of my life! Annnnnnnd I'm still kinda dying over the ostrich turkey thing...that's kind of the perfect way to put it!
  6. Cassie | Bake Your Day April 11, 2013 at 8:43 am #
    This could not be prettier or more mouthwatering. I'll take the whole bowl.
  7. dishing up the dirt April 11, 2013 at 8:52 am #
    keep the pasta coming! Love the spinach pesto.
  8. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl April 11, 2013 at 8:57 am #
    I need this in my belly right now!!
  9. Carly @ Snack Therapy April 11, 2013 at 9:04 am #
    Walking to class the other day, there was a wild turkey SITTING ON TOP OF A CAR. Like, just sitting on the roof. What is that?!
  10. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite April 11, 2013 at 9:08 am #
    I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS! That's why caps lock came on! Chicken+pest+pasta= one happy belly.
  11. Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste April 11, 2013 at 9:11 am #
    I could eat this every meal of every day. Pass the parmesan!
  12. Brian @ A Thought For Food April 11, 2013 at 9:30 am #
    I think some body parts just tingled. Excuse me while I have a moment.
  13. Samantha @FerraroKitchen April 11, 2013 at 9:32 am #
    Love..Love this!!
  14. Heather F April 11, 2013 at 9:40 am #
    Are ya kidding me with this?!? It looks AMAZING!
  15. Marie @ Little Kitchie April 11, 2013 at 9:52 am #
    SO pretty and springy! You are officially the pasta queen!
  16. Jackie W April 11, 2013 at 10:43 am #
    The first wild turkey sighting is very startling...each time I see one it's like the first time (it's only happened twice). I am so glad you verbalized the "ostrich dragon" comparison because it puts into words what I can't about wild turkeys. Also...this pasta is going to be consumed with copious amounts of crusty bread this weekend. YUM!
  17. Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health April 11, 2013 at 11:00 am #
    I know, I miss Phillips Phillips like crazy! He's so awesome. Kree is fo sho my fave. Love her. Angie is good too but I'm good leaving her outside of my uterus, lol.
  18. Erin L April 11, 2013 at 12:21 pm #
    An ostrich dragon??!! LIKE!! Also, Kree & Candace are other-wordly. Also, this pasta looks like a whole mess of sin in a bowl. LIKE!!
  19. Abbey April 11, 2013 at 12:50 pm #
    That looks delicious! And you are hilarious! We also had a wild turkey running in our yard, in Michigan!
  20. Tracy | Peanut Butter And Onion April 11, 2013 at 1:11 pm #
    One word ....YUMMMY!
  21. Katie April 11, 2013 at 4:38 pm #
    Bring it on. All the pasta. And the backyard turkeys. And american idol.
  22. MadSCAR April 12, 2013 at 4:11 am #
    Love it! Thanks for recipe :)
  23. Sues April 12, 2013 at 6:42 am #
    Love the color of this dish! And I don't think there's anything wrong with pasta all day every day!
  24. Nutmeg Nanny April 12, 2013 at 9:10 pm #
    Everything about this is perfect! I love spinach pesto :)
  25. Jackie W April 15, 2013 at 2:27 pm #
    This didn't disapoint. PERFECT pasta dinner after a day that included a long run and an even longer bridal shower. Super easy too!
  26. Miriam April 18, 2013 at 2:59 pm #
    I didn't have basil or pistachios so I used only spinach and walnuts. LOVED it. Thanks
  27. Naturally Haute April 21, 2013 at 5:55 pm #
    I am making this as we speak and I am sooooo excited..... I loved anything spinach and pasta. Thanks for sharing
  28. Anne Marie August 30, 2014 at 7:35 pm #
    Found this recipe on Pintrest & making it tonight. HILARIOUS writing. Had me in tears. Could've been the glass of wine I had on an empty stomach, while making my garlic cheese bread, but not sure. Definitely will visit again! A wild TURKEY!
  29. Miriam March 2, 2015 at 10:38 am #
    Any suggestion on how much pesto to use if store bought and not made with the ingredients you provided? Thanks! Looking forward to giving it a try.
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  32. Women Empowerment February 22, 2020 at 12:16 am #
    I love the recipe and i am gonna try this for sure.
  33. Women Empowerment February 22, 2020 at 12:17 am #
    Amazing recipe and i love this recipe.


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