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Basil Pesto Pici with Grilled Chicken

Pici pasta tossed in a toasted pecan and basil pesto topped with char grilled chicken and sliced sweet tomatoes. 
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 25 - 30 minutes
Calories: 556 Fat: 18g Carbs: 56g Protein: 48g

ABOUT THE DISH

Pici pasta – (Pea-chee) is a thick hand-rolled pasta like thick spaghetti. Our version is created by Dumpling & Strand and has a slightly rough texture that helps with holding sauce onto the noodle. The sauce in this recipe happens to be a pesto made from basil and toasted pecans.

Ingredients
Grape Tomatoes
Basil
Garlic
Lemon
Pecans
Chicken breast
Grana Padano
Fresh pici pasta
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Cooking terms for this recipe

Al Dente Literally “to the tooth”. Describes the ideal texture of cooked pasta that leaves it with a slight bite, rather than becoming mushy.
Toast To lightly heat grains in a sauté pan or pot until they are lightly toasted and aromatic.
Zest The peel of, or grating of a citrus peel for flavor.

What you need

Grill

Small sauté pan

Medium pot with lid

Cooking Instructions

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Step 1: MISE EN PLACE

Read through the entire recipe before getting started. In a medium pot, bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil. Wash and dry all produce. Remove basil leaves from stem and chop. Mince or grate garlic. Rough chop the pecans. Zest lemon, cut in half and juice. Slice tomatoes in half. Remove chicken from package, rinse and pat dry.

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Step 2: TOAST THE PECANS

In a small sauté pan over medium heat add the pecans and constantly move them around for 1-2 minutes until lightly toasted and aromatic.

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Step 3: MAKE THE PESTO

Using a blender or food processor add the basil, garlic and pecans. Slowly add 1/2 cup of olive oil while pulsing until the ingredients are well combined. Add 1 tsp. of salt, 2 tsp. of lemon juice and the grated grana padano. Pulse again until all of the ingredients are combined and the pesto has the consistency of wet sand.

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Step 4: GRILL THE CHICKEN

Heat your grill to medium making sure that your grill is well oiled. Season the chicken on each side with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add to the grill and sear on each side for 3-4 minutes. Remove from grill and set aside on a cutting board to rest. While the chicken is grilling move on to cook the pasta, step #5.

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Step 5: COOK THE PASTA

Add the pici pasta to the boiling water and cook for 5-6 minutes until al dente. Drain well, place back into the pot and add the pesto and sliced tomatoes and mix well to combine.

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Step 6: PLATE YOUR DISH

Divide the pesto pasta between two plates. Slice the grilled chicken and place on top. Garnish with a pinch of lemon zest. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.