Pesto with Almonds

pesto-main-pic

Gotta love Pesto with Almonds.  I believe it’s traditionally made with Pine Nuts but even Walnuts are often substituted.  So it doesn’t really matter what you use, just pick your favorite and follow this recipe to a T because it is fantastic.  Just know that I cut this recipe in half when I filmed it in the video.

Also, if you’re looking for something meaty to compliment this recipe, be sure to check out my Italian Sausage and my Italian Breaded Pork Chops!

Pesto with Almonds Ingredients:

3 cups Basil Leaves, freshly packed
1/2 cup Almonds
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3 Garlic Cloves
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper, ground
1/2 cup Olive oil
1 tsp Lemon Juice, (optional)

Blackened Chicken Alfredo

Chicken Alfredo

The Best Chicken Alfredo

I love Chicken Alfredo and this particular recipe is a favorite of mine because it holds everything that I love and hold dear to my heart, when it comes to Italian food.  I’m talking about pasta tossed in Alfredo, topped with marinated and grilled Chicken(Blackened), and fresh chopped Tomato and Parsley.  So it’s a hearty dish with plenty of Carbs, Fat and protein.  What more could you possible want on your plate?

Chicken Alfredo

Chicken Alfredo in Restaurants

There’s no doubt that Chicken Alfredo is very common and popular, these days, among most Italian restaurants.  You can even order it on a pie from your favorite pizza delivery service.  But every where I go it’s always made a little different.  Seems like everyone has got their own way to of making white sauce.  And there are some really good recipes out there, however, there are some that are just plain awful.  So you really have to be careful with who you trust to make your sauce.  This particular recipe is a copy cat of local restaurant here in town called, “Wingers” and it’s fashioned around the idea of an old “50’s” style diner.  They serve popcorn, wings and the best Vanilla Coke in town.  They also have a recipe called Blackened Chicken Alfredo on their menu and I order every time I’m there.

Blackened Chicken Alfredo Ingredients:

2 to 4 boneless Chicken Thighs (one for each plate)
1 pkg Lemon & Herb Marinade (or your favorite marinade)

Pasta
2 cups Penne Rigate Pasta (or your favorite)
1 tsp Salt (for boiling water)
4 tbsp Olive oil (2 for Boiling water and 2 after pasta is cooked)

Alfredo Sauce
1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 chopped Garlic Clove
1 chopped Green Onion
3 tbsp chopped Red/Green Bell Pepper
1 cup Whipping Cream
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 tbsp Creme cheese

Topping
1 chopped Roma Tomato
2 tbsp fresh chopped Parsley
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Marinate the Chicken and start Grilling First, then start boiling the water and season with salt and olive oil.  Cut all the veggies.  In a hot skillet on High, add butter, Garlic, Scallions and Bell Pepper.  Saute for 1 minute then add creme 1/4 cup at a time.  Stir, boil then add until it’s gone.  Add Parmesan Cheese and Cream Cheese, then take off the heat.  Be sure to watch the chicken and turn once after chicken has Blackened with Grill marks (not Burned).  Strain Pasta, add remaining olive oil, then stir into Alfredo Sauce.  Lay each serving of pasta down first, on a plate, then cut each Grilled Chicken Thigh into 1/4 inch slices and lay over the pasta, and garnish the Chicken Alfredo with some chopped Tomato and Parsley, then serve.

Tomato and Cream Pink Sauce

Pink Sauce
What is Pink Sauce?

Pink Sauce is this incredible little secret that most Italians know about.  It’s described in several different ways and has a few different versions of the recipe that can be found all over the web if you know what you’re looking for.  It’s known as a Vodka Sauce, Tomato and Cream Sauce or simply a Pink Sauce.  The first time I had it, though, I instantly fell in love with it, but it was called something entirely different, and unfortunately I don’t remember what the chef said when he recommend it to me.  But, interestingly enough, it had seafood, bacon and peas in it and it was spicy.  So Good!

This is just one of the ways I make it and it infuses the freshness of hand picked tomatoes with a few classic traditions and some not so classic.  For example, I cook the pasta in the sauce instead of cooking it separately.  The reason why I do this is for the sake of the sauce.  I like to reduce it down so it gets thicker, but I also like the flavor of the Pink Sauce to be through in through my noodle.  In this particular case, fully in beaded in the Rigatoni Pasta.  Plus Rigatoni has those nice ridges around the outside, much like Penne Rigate, that helps to grip the sauce around the funnel noodle so you get a nice flavorful bite.  Also, I use Red wine and Beef Broth, no vodka.  I find that this works really well and you’re just going to have to trust me on this one because it’s really good.

Pink Sauce Ingredients:

1 lbs Rigatoni Pasta (Penne Rigate or Fettuccini is fine)
In a Blender combine the following
6 to 8 Roma Tomatoes (fill 3/4 of Blender)
1/2 Red Onion
5 fresh Basil Leaves
1 large Garlic Clove
2 cups Beef Broth
1 1/2 tbsp Italian Seasoning (Sage, Majoram, Basil, Rosemary, Thyme)
1 tbsp dried Oregano
2 tbsp Brown Sugar
Add Blender Ingredients to a hot Pan on the Stove
1 tbsp Sriracha (or Chile Flakes)
1 cup Whipping Creme
1/3 cup Red Wine
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste (usually not needed)