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Monday, April 4, 2011

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Chicken Pasta

Serves: 4 (3 ounces chicken and 1 cup pasta per serving)
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 12 minutes

This fantastically easy recipe uses bottled sun-dried tomato pesto to cut your prep time.

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves, all visible fat removed (about 4 ounces each)
Vegetable oil spray
1/4 cup bottled sun-dried tomato pesto
2 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. dry red wine (regular or nonalcoholic)
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. plus 1 1/2 tsp. dried basil, crumbled
1/4 tsp. salt
9 ounces refrigerated fat-free angel hair pasta

Directions:
Put hot tap water for pasta on to boil, covering pan. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and spray with vegetable oil spray. Return to heat and cook chicken for 2 minutes on each side. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients except pasta. Pour over chicken. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 6-8 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in center. When water for pasta comes to a boil, cook pasta using package directions, omitting salt and oil; don't overcook. Drain well. To serve, place pasta on serving platter, arrange chicken on top, and spoon sauce over all.

Basil-Parmesan Pesto Chicken and Pasta
Replace sun-dried tomato pesto with basil-Parmesan pesto, dry red wine with dry white wine, and balsamic vinegar with lemon juice. (Calories: 367; Protein: 33 g; Carbohydrates: 37 g; Cholesterol: 67 mg; Total Fat: 9 g; Saturated fat: 2 g; Fiber: 3 g; Sodium 293 mg)

Cook's Tip
If you don't have a tight-fitting lid to use while preparing this dish, tightly cover the skillet with aluminum foil. This will keep the moisture in, helping the sauce get marinara-like consistency.

Cook's Tip on White Meat Chicken
Remember that white meat can overcook quickly. Cook breasts just until they are barely pink in the middle; then remove them from the heat. Residual heat with will cooking the breasts.

Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
Calories: 319
Protein: 32 g
Carbohydrates: 39 g
Cholesterol: 67 mg
Total Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 249 mg

Source: American Heart Association - Meals in Minutes Cookbook pg.148

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