Pizza express penne pollo pesto

This dish is inspired by the pizza express pasta dish with chicken, mushrooms and a creamy pesto sauce! So yum. If you are vegetarian, just leave out the chicken.

Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 200g penne pasta (I use around 50g per person, but use more or less depending on your preference)
  • 75g butter
  • 75g plain flour
  • 600ml whole milk
  • 1 jar (190g) green pesto
  • 1 large handful of mushrooms (I used about 7)
  • 1 large or 2 small red onions
  • 2 balls of mozzarella
  • 1 large handful of grated parmesan cheese (I used grana padano)
  • Basil leaves, to garnish

Method:

  1. Turn on the oven to 190 degrees C/ 375 degrees F/ gas mark 5.
  2. Place the chicken breasts in a tray and season with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Cook in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, put the pasta in boiling water and cook according to packet instructions. I always add a little salt and oil.
  5. Once the chicken is cooked, shred into large long pieces with 2 forks.
  6. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan.
  7. Once melted, add the flour and whisk until incorporated with the butter.
  8. Once mixed together, slowly add in the milk- little by little, whisking fast as you do so, to ensure that there are no lumps.
  9. Then add in your jar of pesto and mix. Season generously. You should now have a lovely creamy pesto sauce.
  10. Add the cooked and strained pasta to the sauce, with a few tbsp of the pasta water.
  11. Add in the cooked chicken, the mushrooms and onions (both raw, they will cook in the oven) to the pasta and sauce. Mix all together.
  12. Put into an overproof baking dish. Top with the grated parmesan/ grana padano and torn mozzarella.
  13. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the top is bubbling and crispy. Top with the basil.

Enjoy!!

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