Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rasta Pasta

I think I have (temporarily) found my new favorite meal.  I really love pasta dishes, but this one takes the cake.  The flavor is fabulous!  My kids took one look at it and said (and I quote) "Oh!  This is going to be good!"  And they were absolutely right.  Not only was it delicious, but it was quick and easy too.

Now I cooked my own chicken and made fresh Alfredo sauce, but you don't have to.  Rotisserie chicken would work great, and you can use jarred Alfredo sauce (although I wouldn't recommend it).  If you do use the Alfredo sauce recipe below, be sure to double it so you will have enough.

As for the pesto, don't leave it out.  It is the reason this dish is so great.  If you've never used pesto before, don't worry, you are in for a real treat.  Pesto is a sauce that is usually made with crushed basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and Parmesan cheese (Sometimes there are other herbs thrown in.  My favorite variety has sundried tomatoes.).  It can be used in pasta dishes, as a sandwich spread, on Bruschetta, and in soups.  Once you taste it you'll be looking for ways to use it.  I've found it in the canned tomato section of the grocery store and in the deli section near the gourmet cheeses.

Rasta Pasta
Serves 6-8
1 14 oz box farfalle (bow tie) pasta
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T butter
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups packed spinach leaves
1 large roasted red pepper (jarred is fine)
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite size pieces
3 cups prepared Alfredo sauce  (recipe below)
1/4 cup prepared basil pesto

Cook pasta according to package directions, and with 3 minutes remaining for the pasta cooking time, add the broccoli florets to the pasta pot to cook.

While pasta is cooking, saute the garlic in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add spinach and broccoli, red pepper and grilled chicken and toss to combine. Stir in Alfredo sauce and pesto and cook until warm, about 5 minutes.

Drain pasta and add to the skillet. Toss to combine everything and serve.

Alfredo Sauce
Makes about 1 1/2-2 cups

1/3 cup butter
1 Tablespoon flour
1 2/3 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup skim milk
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

In sauce pan, melt butter. Then add flour and mix until smooth. Mix in cream, milk, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Bring to boil and then simmer until sauce is decreased by half and thickened. Stir in Parmesan cheese until melted. Pour sauce over cooked fettuccine and toss

Source: An original recipe


  1. This looks great. I always freeze my own pesto at the end of the summer with my extra basil leaves. Since you are making alfredo, I think the next challenge is pesto. Check out my blog for recipe.

    I'm going to pin this one for next week's menu.

  2. Aimee--I've started freezing my own homemade pesto too. I'll have to try your recipe, I always plant a ton of basil just to be sure I have enough pesto to get me through the winter. I'm a bit of a pesto freak! :)



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