PASTA SALAD WITH PENNE, PESTO, CHICKEN AND MUSHROOMS
Prep time 15 mins Cooking time 35 mins Serves 4 FOR THE PESTO 60g toasted pine nuts 1 large bunch basil, leaves only, washed and dried ½ small bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, washed and dried ½ cup grated Parmesan 150ml extra-virgin olive oil 1-2 tbsp lemon juice FOR THE SALAD 2 tbsp olive oil 2 large skinless chicken breasts, diced 150g closed cup mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced 400g penne 50g rocket, washed 4 tbsp pine nuts Parmesan, for shaving To make pesto, add pine nuts, basil, parsley, Parmesan, and half of the olive oil in a blender. Pulse until broken down and coarse. Blend on high, pouring in the remaining olive oil, until the pesto comes together. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Transfer to a jar, seal well, and chill until ready to use. For the salad, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan set over a moderate heat until hot. Season the chicken with salt and pepper before adding to the pan, sautéing until golden all over, about 5-7 minutes. Add the mushrooms and another pinch of salt, cooking for a further 3-4 minutes until tender and starting to colour. In the meantime, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted, boiling water until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain well when ready and add to the chicken and mushrooms. Stir through the rocket leaves. Divide between bowls and top with the prepared pesto, some pine nuts, and fresh shavings of Parmesan before serving.