Left Leaning Rocket and Almond Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Eggplant

With the State election here in Queensland hanging in the balance and politicians vie for power, I found myself glued to the television. The experience is like watching grown men and women bicker like spoiled brats playing musical chairs; two kids fight for the final chair and the one on the blue party hat is refusing to concede,  even though he’s actually only squatting on the arm rest. The spill on effect this has had on a federal scale is also astounding to watch although not difficult to comprehend; with the number of gaffs our elected Prime Minister has had one would think that Price Phillip would give Him a Knighthood for being a chip off the old block. In fact, in a side by side comparison, they’re almost the spitting image, accept one looks surprisingly like the Emperor Palpatine with a family history of haemophilia, and the other makes decisions as well as Mad King George III. At least the Prince can blame his errors in judgement on old age and Inbreeding. 

As I watched our former State Premier gracefully bow out of his position in his first term, the first thing that came to mind was… What’s for dinner? I was hungry, that I knew, but I was also cooking on a budget. I had invited some well to do friends around to cook in my kitchen and let them have free range on my pantry, only when they were done they wrapped up their dishes in tinfoil and took it with them without leaving a breadcrumb. I decided to cook for myself and this time invited a few friends that don’t mind sharing. I had to cook something good for us all, invite people that don’t mind sharing the Labor and for good measure, I need to add a side of Greens or better yet, mix the Greens through the dish.

Inspired by my most egalitarian of friends, this Left Leaning Rocket and Almond Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Eggplant is well worth sharing.

 Left Leaning Rocket and Almond Pesto Fettuccini with Chicken and Eggplant

pesto pasta

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups rocket

½ cup fresh grated parmesan

50g almonds

5 tbsp olive oil (2 for pesto and 3 for frying)

2 garlic cloves

Juice of 1 lime

1 medium red onion, finely diced

500g chicken thighs, sliced

1 small zucchini, sliced

½ cup sliced mushrooms

½ cup diced eggplant

1 cup pouring cream

½ cup chicken stock

Fettuccini or pasta of your choice

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Pesto:

  1. Fill the food processer with rocket, parmesan, almonds, lime juice and oil and pulse until smooth, if the mixture looks a little dry, add ½ a tsp of oil and pulse.
  2. Using ½ of the pesto, thoroughly coat the chicken, rubbing the paste into all parts of the pieces. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.
  3. In a large frypan over high heat brown the chicken breast, sealing on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside in a bowl. Reserve the juices.
  4. Lower the heat to medium and sauté the onions, mushrooms, zucchini and eggplant until translucent, add stock and cream and remaining pesto and the reserved chicken and chicken juices. Stir well until thickened and the chicken juices run clear.
  5. Serve with fettuccini or your choice of pasta and a celebratory glass of wine.