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Pasta with Greens

Garlicky, lemony green vegetables and avocado tossed with pasta and bite size chicken breast, in a garlic and sherry sauce with lots of Parmesan cheese and pine nuts
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 5 servings
Author: Erin


  • 2 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 3 tbsp shallot or mild onion minced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup sherry
  • 8 oz linguine cooked to al dente
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup kale fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup broccoli fresh or frozen
  • ½ lb asparagus ends trimmed, chopped
  • 1 tbsp basil chopped (can sub 1 tsp dried)
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 6 oz Parmesan grated
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook pasta according to directions for al dente, minus one minute in salted water (pasta will finish cooking in the skillet). Drain, reserving ¾ cup of the starchy pasta water right before draining.
  • Add green veggies to food processor (or other blender), squeeze juice of lemon over them. Add also the pine nuts, a drizzle of olive oil, and pine nuts. Pulse until you have a very finely minced texture.
    food processor with leafy greens, parmesan cheese and pine nuts
  • Add the avocado, blend until incorporated. Set aside.
    food processor with processed greens and pine nuts and cheese
  • Mince garlic and shallot/onion. Dice chicken. In a skillet, heat olive oil/butter on medium high heat; add shallot/onion, garlic and diced chicken.
    white plastic cutting with minced shallot, garlic and chicken breast next to butcher knife, white flour sack cloth on wooden surface
  • Saute until caramelized and browned. Remove just the chicken pieces (leaving the garlic and shallot in pan) and set aside on a plate; this prevents them from overcooking and becoming though.
  • Pour sherry into the pan to deglaze, still on medium high heat.
    pan of brown bits with sherry poured in to deglaze
  • Simmer on medium high heat until reduced by half, it should look thickened, darker and all the browned bits removed from the bottom. The bottom of the pan is "clean" and smooth.
  • Now comes the magic. Reduce heat to low. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet, along with the processed greens/pine nut/lemon/cheese mixture and chicken pieces.
    Skillet with pasta, chicken and pestoed green vegetables about to be tossed together
  • Add half of the starchy cooking water, more Parmesan , whole pine nuts if desired, and juice of the other half of the lemon and toss to combine. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
  • Serve immediately, and garnish with extra Parmesan and pine nuts. Salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.
    plate of pasta and greens with shaved Parmesan and pine nuts, two antique forks, wooden bowl of salt and pepper, two cups of white wine, a chunk of Parmesan, and linen napkin on dark wooden surface


Adjust the amount of pulsing or blending to fit your needs. More pulsing/blending results in a finer texture that resembles a pesto sauce. If you prefer larger pieces of green, pulse/blend less.