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Pasta with bacon, chicken and home-made pesto

June 2, 2011


Beautifully green spinach pesto sauce with bacon and roast chicken


I was 17 when I first had pesto – it was in a shared flat in Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival and we’d bought and cooked our own dinner, led by the one member of the troupe who’d left school a full year before. It tasted of adulthood and freedom and salt, and became a staple that saw me through university.

H has never been fond of pesto. I made my own for the first time last year – it was delicious, and our basil plant was just big enough to provide sufficient leaves for the occasional pesto sauce for a treat for me as well as flavouring other pasta sauces. Having used shop-bought roast pepper pesto successfully for a few dishes this year that have met H’s approval, I’ve been planning to introduce him to home-made pesto with a spinach, rocket or watercress base.

This evening I used up the leftover chicken from the roast I cooked at the beginning of the week for H’s sandwiches, and bacon that just needed grilling. While the bacon cooked I blitzed two fistfuls of spinach, and handful of basil, three crushed garlic cloves, a tablespoon and a half of pine nuts, a drizzle of olive oil, a grating of cheddar and seasoning in a blender. I added this, the chicken and bacon to the cooked, drained penne and warmed it on the stove. Beautifully verdant and full of flavour, even H was impressed.

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