The first time I tried basil pesto sauce I got sick and consequently threw it up. It took a long time before I was willing to try it again. But once I discovered how delicious it is on Panini's I have since been reconverted to it, even more so after trying this recipe.
I found this recipe on Food Network by the Barefoot Contessa and tweaked it a bit by substituting some of the mayo for sour cream, adjusting the type of pasta and adding chicken.
Yield: 12 servings
1 1/2 pounds bow tie, fusilli, or any other combination of past
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 cups pesto (packaged or see recipe here)
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cups good mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup pine nuts, optional
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cooked shredded chicken, optional
Cook the pasta, separately, if you are combining types of pasta, in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until each pasta is al dente. Drain and toss into a bowl with the olive oil. Cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach, and lemon juice. Add the mayonnaise and sour cream. Puree. Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmesan, chicken, peas, pine nuts (if using), salt, and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.