This delightful recipe tastes like summer itself! Instead of basil-based pasta, this pesto uses cilantro and mint. The pecan nuts give it a little bit of texture more than anything. The serrano pepper makes it a little bit spicy. We would recommend 1- 1 ½ pounds of chicken. Enjoy!
1 ½ cups fresh cilantro
½ cup fresh mint
½ cup cotija cheese
3 tablespoons toasted pecan halves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 garlic cloves
1 serrano chile, seeded and sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin oil
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1- 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast
6 cups hot cooked penne pasta (about 3 ounces uncooked)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
Place cilantro and next 6 ingredients (through chile) in a food processor, and process until well blended. With processor on, slowly pour olive oil through food chute; process until well blended. Place pesto in a large bowl; stir in sherry vinegar.
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat chicken with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add chicken, pasta, and tomato to pesto toss to combine.
(adapted from The Best of Cooking Light 7 magazine, 2006)