By Ganteng Boy
Tucked in the northwest pocket of Italy, Genoa is known for its mountains, sunshine and winds that blow in from the Mediterranean Sea. Pasta alla genovese or Battuto alla genovese is one of the regions’ most famous specialties. This savory green paste of basil, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts and cheese has recently become very popular throughout Europe.
- 1 Bunch of Basil
- 1 Clove Garlic
- 1/4 of Whole Onion
- 1/2 Breast of Chicken
- 3/5 LB/ 300 G of Pasta (Penne or Fusilli)
- 2 TBSP/20 G Pine Nuts
- Coarse Salt
- 1/3 Cup/ 25 G Freshly Grated Parmesan or Grana
- 2-3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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Step 1. Set the oven to 300ºF. Spread the pine nuts evenly on a baking sheet, and allow it to roast for 3-5 minutes. The pine nuts are done when they look like the image below.
Step 2. Wash the basil carefully and allow it to drain. Chop it in a blender, together with the garlic, pine nuts, grated cheese and a pinch of coarse salt.
Step 3. Fill the Dutch Pan with 3/4 full of water. Once the water boils, add a handful of salt. Fill the pan with pasta. Follow the instructions on the pasta package; cooking times vary depending on the type and amount of pasta.
Pro tip: to keep pasta from sticking, stir constantly within the first 1 or 2 minutes. Great pasta should have a nice aldente bite and taste.
Step 4. Wash the chicken thoroughly with lukewarm water and pat dry with a paper towel. Slice the chicken to approximately a quarter inch bite size portion. Rub some salt onto the chicken.
Step 5. Dice the onion and mince the garlic.Set the frying pan to low heat and pour the olive oil into the pan. Sauté the garlic and onion until it is caramelized. Add the chicken. Cook the chicken until it is cooked tender. Do not overcook the chicken.
Step 6. Pour the blended pesto into the frying pan with the cooked chicken. Mix in the aldente pasta. Slowly mix in the olive oil, until a creamy consistency is achieved. Add a little of the hot water in which the pasta was cooked into the pesto.
Wine pairing: A Sauvignon blanc with more of the grassy and grapefruit flavor (e.g. Marlborough, New Zealand) pairs well with this pesto dish.