You kind of can't beat fresh pasta. Or fresh mozzarella. And together? Whoa. So my awesome mom was visiting this past week and I knew we just had to make pasta together. I could only take a couple of days off of work that week so the last work day, the day before my glorious 4 day weekend, I came home, opened a bottle of wine, and my mom and I parked it in the kitchen all night drinking wine and rolling out pasta. Perfection.
Because we were pre-occupied with wine, pasta, and all of the things we had to catch up on that the 3000 miles between us and my severe hatred for talking on the phone, my picture taking was pretty minimal and well kind of lackluster. It was the least of my concerns. Did I mention we had a lot to catch up on? Oh, and that I despise talking on the phone? Seriously. Don't even ask me how many unlistenedto (it's a word) voicemails I have. Ok, it's 16. I know. If someone called me and left a message saying, "You won a million dollars! Just call back to receive your prize!" It would totally go unlistenedto. I use my phone for everything but making phone calls.
Anyway... my mom and I spent the night making pasta and drinking wine. Look how pretty it is! We'd started with spaghetti, but my pasta roller cuts it actually more like angel hair sized and it was taking waaayyy too long to separate all the strands and they were drying and subsequently breaking faster than we separate them, so we switched to linguine and ended up cooking both together.
My original plan was to just make pasta and then use some of my pesto cubes for a quick and easy pesto pasta dish. Then that sounded too boring. So I decided to add chicken. Oh and show my mom how easy it is to make fresh mozzarella.
Have I mentioned how easy it is to make mozzarella? How about how much cheaper it is?! For $2.39 (the cost of a gallon of milk), we got a pound of fresh mozzarella! This shows .78 of a lb because my husband snagged the last of the mozzarella before I had a chance to form it into balls, as a pre-dinner snack.
Meanwhile, I sauteed up some diced chicken, then melted a few pesto cubes in some homemade chicken stock, cooked the pasta until al dente, and then added it all in a pan together. The pesto cubes I had made at the end of last summer. We had sooooo much basil because I used basil as center pieces for the tables at our wedding (it was really cute, basil in terra cotta pots surrounded by lemons... even better, it was super cheap!), and even though we encouraged people to take them, we had a few left over, in addition to the tons of basil I'd already planted. So at the end of the summer, I harvested it all, made a ton of pesto, then froze the pesto in ice cube trays and viola! Frozen pesto cubes to store in the freezer to have fresh pesto in minutes all winter long!
Here's a picture I took of my pesto cube making on my phone from Instagram. I make my pesto with hazelnuts 🙂
Then I tossed in the mozzarella balls to soak up the pesto deliciousness.
And yum! A completely from scratch pesto pasta dish with fresh mozzarella. Oh and we were onto our second bottle of wine by then, a Cabernet / Syrah blend from our favorite Walla Walla, WA winery, Sweet Valley Wines. Although it's big, hearty, earthy red wine, the definition of what we like, the first bottle, the light, acidic, bright Vermentino from Tesoaria would have paired much nicer with this dish. Oops. We drank it all during the pasta making process. And honestly, we'll drink wine with anything, nothing, or just because. I loved this dish so much, mainly because it was made with my mom, perfect for Mother's Day right around the corner and also to bring to Angie's Fiesta Friday!
Chicken Pesto Pasta and Fresh Mozzarella
- 5 cups of flour
- 6 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, cubed
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- olive oil
- fresh mozzarella balls
- 3 frozen pesto cubes melted with 1/4 cup of chicken stock or 2-3 tablespoons of fresh pesto
Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl then create a well in the flour. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. Slowly mix the whisked eggs into the well incorporating the dough a little bit at a time. Once a dough forms, remove the dough from the bowl and continue kneading on a floured surface. Once the dough is smooth, form a ball, then wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour or over night.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Saute chicken and garlic in oil until done. Meanwhile, roll out and cut pasta into linguine with pasta roller. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain pasta, add to pan with chicken, add mozzarella balls, and add pesto and mix well.
Cube chicken and cook in pan with olive oil and garlic until done and add pesto.
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