I absolutely loooove basil – the smell, the taste, it’s such a fantastic herb. The only problem is that in my house, it doesn’t last long….not because we love it so much, but because it dries up so quickly! After speaking with a neighbor I actually learned a NEW, but unattractive, way to preserve your basil and that’s by trimming the stems and placing them in a glass or jar of water then loosely covering them with a plastic bag and leave it on the counter. Who knew? My mother in law also told me that you can freeze it to dry it out….Not sure why I didn’t think of those ideas but I’m definitely going to try this, since we don’t eat dishes with basil too too often.
However, when you are trying to use up your basil, this Outstanding Olive Oil Basil Garlic Tomato Chicken Pasta dish is light and delicious and has such a great flavor you’re going to have no problem finishing up that basil plant dying to make more…you might even buy another! This could serve between 2-4, we had leftovers for lunch the next day (just as good) – but it really depends on how hungry you are!
2 skinless chicken breast halves, diced in 1 inch cubes
1/2 tsp each of dried oregano and dried basil
1/8 tsp Italian seasoning
kosher salt and fresh pepper
8 oz whole grain spaghetti (you could use any pasta here – brown rice or regular pasta would be great too!)
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
6 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
4 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/8 cup low sodium chicken broth (have 1/4 handy just in case)
1 cup broccoli florets
parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
2. Season chicken generously with salt, pepper, oregano, Italian seasoning, and 1 tbs chopped basil. Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add 4 tsp olive oil add chicken. Cook about 6-8 minutes, until no longer pink. Remove chicken and set aside.
3. Add pasta and cook about 12-13 minutes until cooked to your preference
4. Add the broccoli florets to another skillet on medium heat with a tbs olive oil. Saute for about six minutes until they are a deep green color and crispy! Set aside.
5. While pasta and broccoli cook, add about 3 tsp olive oil to the same skillet the chicken was in. Add garlic and sauté until golden brown (do not burn). Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium-low. Sauté about 5 minutes.
6. When pasta is drained, add pasta to tomatoes and toss well. If pasta seems too dry, add some of chicken broth and a dash more of olive oil and reduce for about two minutes, tossing ingredients frequently. Add fresh basil, broccoli, and chicken and toss well.
7. Serve and top with good parmesan cheese, if desired
Serving Suggestion: All you need is a nice glass of white wine for this dish!