Pesto Cream Pasta

(can be vegan and/or gluten free)

I can’t even begin to express how good this pasta recipe is. Penne pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, chicken, and basil, doused in the creamiest (& non-diary if you choose!) pesto sauce. Enough said! Inspired by my favourite dish at a local family restaurant that recently closed its doors. I tried my best to honour them with this recreation, so hopefully I did them justice! Enjoy Xx

Ingredients

(serves 4-5)

for the pesto cream sauce

  • 1 tbsp oil (to cook the onion and garlic in)
  • 1/3-1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 2 cups milk (non-dairy, regular, whatever you have on hand)
  • 3 tsp tapioca, potato, or corn starch
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt

for the pasta & add-ins

  • 16 oz pasta* (around 1 full box – I used penne)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (to taste**)
  • 4 medium chicken breasts, cooked and diced (to taste**)
  • 1 handful fresh basil, chopped

Directions

  1. Cook the chicken and pasta.
  2. Place a large pot or pan (big enough to add your pasta to later) over medium heat. Add the oil and once heated, cook the onion and garlic until translucent and lightly browned. Reduce the heat.
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the milk and starch until dissolved and smooth. Mixing these when they are cold prevents the starch from going lumpy.
  4. Add the pesto, milk and starch mixture, nutritional yeast, and salt to the pan and whisk together.
  5. Once combined, bring to medium heat and, stirring frequently, bring to a light boil. Have it boil for around a minute, then reduce the heat to low.
  6. Add in sun-dried tomatoes, cooked chicken, and basil, heating for a couple minutes on low heat.
  7. Gradually mix in the pasta. You may not need all of the pasta, depending on how big of a serving you are making.
  8. Remove from heat and serve warm!

Notes

for GLUTEN FREE

  • *use a gluten free pasta, such as a brown rice pasta

for VEGAN

  • remove the chicken
  • use non-dairy milk
  • ensure the pesto you use is vegan

OTHER

**Feel free to add as much or as little sun-dried tomatoes and chicken as you please. You may also add in other things like shrimp, mushrooms, etc.

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