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Penne with Chicken, Roasted-Red-Pepper
Pesto, and Olives

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~ Federico Fellini

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La Belle Cuisine


Penne with Chicken, Roasted-Red-Pepper
Pesto, and Olives

Quick from Scratch:
Real Food for Busy Weeknights

Food & Wine Books, Editorial Director: Judith Hill,
1996, American Express Publishing Corp.


“Grilled chicken, olives and an intensely-flavored pesto made from
roasted red pepper, garlic, walnuts and cayenne are all tossed with
penne for a robust and satisfying pasta. Because this pesto calls for
bottled red peppers, you can make this dish in minutes.”

Wine Recommendation: Sauvignon blanc has the acidity and intense
flavor to stand up to and complement the assertive ingredients in this
dish. Try a bottle from California or New Zealand.”

Food & Wine - One Year Subscription 

Serves 4

One 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers,
drained (about 3/4 cup)
3/4 cup walnuts
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage,
or 1 teaspoon dried
[we use basil]
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice or
wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 pound penne
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
(about 1 1/3 pounds in all)
1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/3 cup black olives, such as Niçoise or
Kalamata, halved and pitted
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or
scallion tops
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1. In a food processor or blender, puree the roasted peppers, the
walnuts, and the garlic with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil, the
sage, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the lemon juice, and the cayenne.
2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the penne until just
done, about 13 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, coat the chicken with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil.
Season with the black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Heat
a grill pan over moderate heat. Cook the chicken for 5 minutes.
Turn and cook until browned and just done, about 4 minutes
longer. Remove. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Alterna-
tively, heat the oil in a large, heavy frying pan. Season, cook,
and slice the chicken in the same way.
4. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta. Toss the
pasta with 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, the pesto, the
chicken with any accumulated juices, the remaining 1/2 tea-
spoon salt, the olives, and the chives. If the sauce seems too
thick, add more of the reserved pasta water. Serve the pasta
sprinkled with the parsley.

Featured Archive Recipe:
Chicken Tortellini Salad with Pesto
Chicken, Zucchini and Mushroom Lasagne
Green Goddess Grilled Chicken Salad

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