Chicken Pasta Pesto

This is a go-to recipe for hosting a luncheon or making a quick dinner on a steamy summer night. Nice for picnics, as long as it’s kept cool.  The pesto may be homemade or jarred. Homemade is super easy and the flavor of fresh basil is unbeatable!  TIP: For deeper flavor, grill the chicken breasts.

Ingredients:

1 lb. penne pasta
2 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 cup pesto sauce
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
Pesto Sauce:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh basil leaves
3/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions.

Place oil, nuts, garlic, and salt in food processor.  Blend until nuts and garlic are finely chopped.  Add basil and Parmesan and blend.
In a large bowl combine pasta, chicken, and pesto.  Garnish with tomatoes.Tastes even better the second day!