This is one of those dishes I throw together every week or two. It allows me to use up the veggies in the fridge, there are always leftovers for my lunch the next day and it is fresh and delicious at the end of a busy work/school/weekend day.
I don’t really use a recipe for this dish, what I do use is a whole 6.7oz (190g) jar of basil pesto sauce. My favorite is from Trader Joes. I can keep it in my pantry until I’m ready to open it. The brown rice & quinoa fusilli pasta can also last a long time which means I’m always able to create this meal at a pinch.
I simply cook the pasta, about 1/2 to 3/4 of a 16oz packet depending on how many you are planning to feed, in salty boiling water until it’s just soft (never over cook pasta!) and drain it immediately. It can sit, cooling in the colander while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In a pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and add a chopped onion and two fresh cloves of garlic, finely chopped or minced. Cook until golden.
Now you can add whatever you like! I would start with diced chicken breasts or thighs around a pound to a pound and a half. Then throw in the veggies: chopped mushrooms, sliced sun dried tomatoes, and roughly chopped and seeded red bell peppers are some of my favorites. I also like to toss in a handful of pine nuts. Stir in the whole jar of pesto once the chicken and veggies look like they are cooked through.
Place the cooked fusilli and pesto mixture back into the large pasta pot and stir together over a low heat and you have created a feast fit for anyone.
Season with salt and pepper and serve with some freshly grated parmesan cheese or romano and a french bread stick.