80 g (large handful) basil (finely chopped if you do not have a food processor or blender)
1 medium size chopped garlic clove
3 tbs grated parmigiano reggiano
50 g roasted pine nuts
1.5 tbs olive oil
2-3 tbs olive oil to cover the pesto (step 1 below)
6 large cherry tomatoes chopped into quarters
2 sliced chicken schnitzels (you can make your own schnitzel, but because this is my “DIY fast food”, I buy ready-to-cook chicken schnitzel)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried rosemary
350g dried fusilli pasta
juice of 1/2 small lemon
salt and pepper to taste
grated lemon zest, roasted pine nuts and parmigiano reggiano for garnish
1. Prepare the basil pesto. Place basil, garlic, parmigiano reggiano, olive oil, roasted pine nuts (not roasted is fine too) and salt & pepper to taste into a food processor or blender and blend until a smooth paste is formed. If you do not have a food processor or blender, then ensure ingredients are finely chopped, add to a bowl and mash together with the back of a spoon. Spoon the mixture into a jam jar or small bowl and pour a good layer of olive oil on top to cover the pesto.
2. Boil a pot of salted water and add pasta. Once the pasta has been on for five minutes begin to prepare the chicken.
3. Scoop 1.5 tbs of the olive oil covering the pesto into a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the schnitzel, oregano and rosemary leaving each side to cook for about 2-3 minutes to ensure that each side is nicely browned. Once cooked (not well done, but the meat should be all white), add the tomatoes for 5 minutes on medium heat.
4. The pasta should be al dente by this point. Drain the pasta, rinse with cold water, drain again and then add the pasta to the saucepan with the chicken and tomato on medium heat. Add the pesto to the mixture and toss, ensuring that the ingredients are well covered with pesto. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.
5. Serve immediately. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon over the pasta and add some grated lemon zest for extra flavour. Add grated parmigiano reggiano to taste.