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Recipes Dinner

Tagliatelle With Amazing Homemade Spinach And Basil Pesto Topped With Succulent Cajun Chicken

  • Pasta
  • Basil
  • Garlic
  • Pine nuts
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Spinach
  • Olive oil
  • Chicken breast
  • Cajun seasoning

You've probably had pesto from jars loads of times, and I'd wager it left you feeling a little unimpressed.

Well that's all about to change with this incredibly simple recipe which will have you making your own pesto from scratch in less than 20 minutes.

Combined with a gorgeous simple cajun chicken breast and this dish is all sorts of delicious.


Step 1

Get the very freshest basil, spinach and spend a little extra on the parmesan. The pine nuts aren't cheap but they make the dish taste amazing.

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Step 2

Start by placing the spinach into a colander and pouring boiling water from the kettle over it. This is enough to 'cook' it.

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Step 3

We're going to make the pesto in the food processor. Throw in the parmesan, chopped garlic and the basil leaves. Lastly add in the spinach, which you should have dried off any excess water from. Add some olive oil as you blend the mix, so the pesto is a smooth paste without being too thin.

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Step 4

Using a pan on a medium heat gently toast the pine nuts. You just want a little colour on them. Golden brown. It won't take more than 20-30 seconds once the pan has heated up.

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Step 5

Throw on the pasta to cook, following the instructions on the packet. I prefer the dried pasta for this dish rather than the fresh stuff.

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Step 6

Coat the chicken breast in cajun seasoning and a little oil. Place it into a chargrill pan on a medium heat and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side until the meat is white throughout.

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Step 7

Add the pesto to the pasta when it has been cooked.

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Step 8

Let the chicken rest for a couple of minutes before serving.

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Step 9

Serve the pesto pasta first. You could easily eat this exactly as it is without any chicken.

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Step 10

Slice the chicken, place on top of the pasta, and enjoy!

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Good cooking doesn't have to wildly complicated, as you can see here. A few simple ingredients with some simple techniques and you end up with something every bit as nice as you'd get in a restaurant.

Once you taste this there'll be no going back to those mediocre jars of pesto.

Written By

Niall Harbison

Niall founded Lovin' Dublin with a few fairly simple aims: discover new places to eat in Dublin and share simple recipes cooked up in his kitchen.