Penne With Chicken And Pesto

What you'll need:

2 chicken breasts
1 lb box penne (You could use another shape, but I liked the way the penne went with the chicken.)
salt

Pesto (ingredients to make your own below -- based on Giada de Laurentiis' recipe)
2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 garlic clove, peeled (I put mine through my garlic press because it's easier than peeling it.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup olive oil (roughly)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used Kraft because I had it, but I think freshly grated would have improved the flavor of the pesto.)
First, place the chicken breasts in a large pan and fill the pan with water until the chicken is covered. Lightly salt the water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Then cover and reduce to a simmer. Continue simmering for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand 12 to 14 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Then remove chicken from the water and set aside on a plate.

While chicken is cooking, prepare the pesto. Pulse basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper in food processor until finely chopped. Gradually add in olive oil just until mixture is smooth and thick. Place pesto in a large bowl (one big enough to fit the chicken and penne), and stir in the cheese. Season more if necessary. Set aside.

Cook pasta according to directions. Then drain and toss with a splash of olive oil.
 
With the pesto resting and the chicken cooked, while the pasta water is boiling (or once your pasta is done, whatever works better for you), shred the chicken. Cut chicken into large chunks and use two forks to pull the meat apart.

Then stir some chicken and some penne into the pesto mixture. Continue to gradually add more chicken and penne to the pesto until the pesto to chicken/penne ratio is right for you. I used all of the chicken and most of the pasta. You can drizzle in a little more olive oil to moisten the mixture and enable you to stir it more easily if you want.

Then serve!
-Delicious Dishings