Chicken, Pesto and Ziti Recipe

Chicken Pesto and Ziti Recipe

Authentic Ligurian Pesto Sauce with Chicken and Ziti Recipe

5 out of 5
stars based on 2 ratings.

Authentic Ligurian pesto with chicken and ziti recipe from Paggi Pazzo

Chicken Pesto and Ziti Recipe
Published: February 12, 2012

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 40 min
Yield: 8 servings
Calories per serving: 605
Fat per serving: 33g


  • 1 pound ziti (Barilla)
  • 1 pound chicken breast fillets
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Sardo
  • 3/4 cup grated Grana Padono
  • 3-4 full cups fresh basil
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup Italian or European pinenuts

Cooking Directions

  1. Grate Pecorino Sardo and Grana Padano into a bowl. If cheeses are not available, substitute with Pecorino Romano and Reggiano Parmigiano
  2. Add tablespoon of olive oil to pan and add pine nuts, cooking for 5 minutes then let sit for 5 minutes
  3. Add fresh basil into food processor (but make sure basil is not wet after cleaning as the dryer the better for the pesto sauce), pine nuts, garlic, black pepper, salt, and 3/4 cup of olive oil
  4. Use pulse option in Food processor for 10-20 seconds until pesto starts to cream then add grated cheese (but save a handful for after pasta is done), and remaining olive oil and then purée for 10-20 seconds
  5. If pesto begins to take on a creamy consistency, then pesto sauce is ready. If still thick, add a little more olive oil and stir
  6. Clean chicken and cut into small chunks, then season with salt and pepper. Heat a large pan with a teaspoon of olive oil and cook chicken for 10-15 minutes until tender and browned.
  7. Bring pot of water to a boil and add ziti or your choice of short pasta (I do not add salt to the water because the sharp cheeses provide enough salt flavor for the sauce)
  8. Once pasta is ready, strain but put aside a ladle of pasta water should pesto sauce be too thick
  9. Quickly mix pesto sauce with pasta and add remaining grated cheese and add chicken, then stir repeatedly
  10. Ready to serve!

Let it Rip!

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