Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pasta with Pesto, Chicken, and Green Beans

For SH - for making pesto for Son and inspiring me to try the same.

As Children got older, many things changed.  Their clothing changed as they no longer needed clothes that looked good with a diaper stuffed underneath it.  Their needs changed as it became less about getting a bottle or breast in their mouth and more about cooking a meal that would satisfy them.  As a side note, I wonder if I knew how much work it would be to feed them if I would have ever pushed them towards solids?  Their communication with me changed as well, as they went from cries, smiles, whimpers and coos to complete sentences that express multiple emotions.  These changes I expected.

However, I never thought much another change - and that is the change in my living space.  When the Children were young, they generally kept much to themselves in a small contained area - whether it was the playpen, their crib or their stroller.  As Children began to grow older, their STUFF began to land in spaces of the house I wouldn't expect like my bathroom, underneath the sofa, and in my bed.  And now that Son has his own idea about his favorite toy, suddenly I've discovered that I'm walking on pins and needles.

Actually what I'm walking on are Lego pieces of varying sizes.  I land on them regularly and because of the nature of the carpeting of our house, it's hard to see where they are all the time. If I'm rushing around the house in a hurry to do something, forget it - I'll step on a bunch of them.  The other day, in an attempt to retrieve something for a darkened playroom I managed to step on a series of Legos that led to a series of screams, yells and G-rated expletives.  (poop!)

Now, I've tried asking Son to clean up his Lego pieces.  And he does.  He gets in there and picks up the pieces that are in a variety of places, but I am convinced that on some level he thinks that if he SPRINKLES the pieces throughout the house, he'll manage to grow some.  But he loves his projects, loves his ideas, and has decided that the entire house has to be a place for him to find something to build.  I'm all for keeping the house clean and neat and safe from potential foot injuries, but the other half of me realizes that sometimes creativity is messy, thinking requires space to spread out, and that in the joy of the moment of creation, cleaning up is the last thing on Son's mind. 

This doesn't mean that it doesn't drive me crazy.  My friend this ecard for me based on a Facebook post I had made a while ago.   It pretty much sums up how I feel about it all.

But I'm embracing the change that comes from having Children.  Although my space seems a bit insane and dangerous, it's a place that is filled with the laughter of Children and the chaos of happiness.  It's not a bad thing to have in my adult space and it's part of the adjustment I make. 

Change also happens most often in the kitchen because of Son's allergies.  Although I love pesto, I never thought at all of making it at home because of the whole forbidden nut and dairy thing.  However, a couple months back, friend SH brought over a delicious pesto pizza for Son, something like a flatbread with roasted potatoes and onions and a green pesto sauce that she had made for him that was safe for him to consume.  It was completely delicious and I'd been pondering how to make it work for something that I make at home and came up with this idea.  Pesto with chicken, pasta, and green beans.  The end result is really easy, a great pack-to-school lunch, and everyone in my home devoured it without stopping.  Son, as it turns out, ADORES pesto in this form and has asked for it as a dipping sauce for a variety of unusual food items.  (Waffles are the strangest.) 

This can be served warm or cold and tastes great both ways.

Pasta with Pesto, Chicken, and Green Beans
Serves 6 to 8

1 lb of pasta
1 lb of cooked chicken, cut up into bite sized pieces - either a rotisserie chicken or you can just cook up some chicken breasts.  Leftover roasted chicken here is also perfect.
12 oz of green beans

2 cups fresh basil leaves
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Cheese (your choice) for serving

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Blanch green beans for about 1 minute.  Remove from water and immediately rinse in cold water.  Bring water in pot back up to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking, cut green beans into 1 inch pieces.  Set aside.

To make basil pesto, into a food processor or blender, add basil leaves, olive oil, cloves, salt and pepper and puree/process until mixture is even in consistency.  Taste - it should be a little bit salty.  Add additional salt and pepper if desired.  Set aside until pasta is fully cooked.

Once pasta is cooked, drain.  Immediately add green bean pieces, chicken and pesto.  Toss well together.  Season, if necessary with additional salt and pepper.

Printable recipe


Joyce said...

Can't wait to try this! I've been dying to try a pesto recipe that will stand up to my husband's lactose intolerance without having to hunt for specialised ingredients.

Love your recipes and the little peeks into your life :)

Anonymous said...

Can you use frozen green beans or does it have to be fresh?

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