Basil Pesto with Angel Hair Pasta

I am a fanatic about eating anything with basil, which is why I have a plant in my home.  The first time I tasted pesto I was hooked and vowed to make my own. Often pestos are made with lots of olive oil, which is healthy, but too much olive oil takes a toll on the calories.  So, after searching, trying, and modifying different recipes, I settled on the following simple recipe. I cannot tell you how yummy this is and still moist with less olive oil. I topped angel hair pasta and shredded chicken with the pesto and had an excellent dinner. I also made rosemary bread sticks to complement the meal. This has become an instant favorite.

Ingredients
 
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted*
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water
2 medium or 1 large clove garlic, quartered
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
6 oz cooked, shredded chicken breast
8 oz cooked angel hair pasta, preferably wheat

Preparation  

  • Place basil, pine nuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano, oil, water, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. Pulse a few times, then process until smooth, or to the desired consistency, scraping down the sides occasionally.
  • In a large bowl, add pasta, chicken, and pesto. Toss to mix.

*To toast nuts, heat a skillet on medium-high heat. Add nuts. Stir occasionally and toast for 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to burn.

Servings: 3

Calories: About 640 per serving.

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