Earlier this month, my best friend since 5th grade, Ally, left her icy home in Maine to attend the almost-as-cold Women’s March down in Washington D.C. with our friend Beth, and you know what THAT meant?
It meant that I was able to see her! WOO HOO! I was SO excited, and it was awesome getting to pick her up at the airport, have dinner with both Ally and Beth, and then spend the day together, all 3 of us, on Sunday. It was awesome. It’s always awesome when besties get together after time apart.
The last time Ally was here, she introduced me to one of her favorite meals to cook at home, simply called “Ally Special Dinner.”
What, pray tell, is Ally Special Dinner? Well, as she described, it was chicken, roasted red peppers, farfalle (bow tie) pasta, pesto sauce, goat cheese and broccoli. Player… That sounded SO good, I could almost taste it. I couldn’t wait to recreate this dish for my family. And guess what? IT WAS AMAZING. My boys LOVED this dish, and so did I. I couldn’t wait to make it again, and in light of her return to B’more, I decided it would be as good a time as any.
I cut 2 large (about 1.3 lb) boneless, skinless chicken breasts into cubes, and tossed them with salt, pepper, basil and crushed red pepper flakes. This wasn’t part of the instructions, but I went with it.
I then sautéed about 5 cloves of garlic, chopped, in some olive oil. While that got going, I got a pot of boiling water started and I julienned some roasted red peppers, chopped up some blanched broccoli, and got my goat cheese, and pesto ready.
I threw the chicken in with the garlic, gave it a stir, and let that cook. I then added the peppers and broccoli to the mix. When the pasta was cooked, I threw that in with the chicken, then added the pesto and the goat cheese. Everything combined beautifully, and everything smelled insanely good.
I made too much, but I have to say, none of it went to waste. It was amazing as leftovers for lunch. Seriously good. The goat cheese melted in with the pesto to create a bold, fresh, earthy and tangy sauce that was TO DIE FOR. The roasted peppers gave it a smolderingly sweet flavor, and the broccoli added texture. The pasta choice here was perfect for the sauce to cling to, and it all in all was a truly spectacular dish that will be added to our dinner-time arsenal.
Ally Special Dinner was a HUGE hit with the kids too. Jack ate a bunch of pasta cut up small, and Major cleared his plate FAST, giving it two thumbs up. Honestly? If the 8-year-old boy says it’s good, then it’s good.
Want to make it for yourself? I don’t blame you! Thank you Bestie Ally for this insanely delicious recipe, and for allowing me to share it with the world!
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 - 1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 1 - 2 roasted red peppers, sliced thin
- 1.5 cups broccoli, chopped
- 1 box of farfalle bowtie pasta
- 1 8 oz jar of pesto sauce
- 1 package of plain goat cheese
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
- crushed red pepper flakes
- Coat chicken with salt, pepper, basil and red pepper flakes - a few shakes each.
- Sautee the garlic in some EVOO over med-low heat in a larges pan/skillet.
- Have a pot of salted water boiling for the pasta on a separate burner
- Add the chicken to the pan with the garlic. Stir.
- Once the chicken is no longer pink, add the peppers and the broccoli.
- Cook the pasta for a little bit less than the allotted time on the package, roughly 10-12 minutes.
- When the pasta is done cooking, and the chicken is no longer pink on the inside, drain the pastas and combine with the chicken. Toss to combine thoroughly.
- Pour the pesto in. Stir to combine.
- Add the goat cheese in crumbles to evenly distribute. The cheese will melt and become part of the sauce.
- Stir and let cook together for 5-10 minutes.