Here I am, awake at 2:30 in the morning, type type typing away on this blog post. I made the mistake of lying down to take a “nap” around 6:30 p.m (Norway is 9 hours ahead) and then ended up waking up at 12:30 since I just assumed I would only doze. Whoops. 😳
But you know what, friends? That’s alright! Things don’t look half bad when you have a big ol’ skillet full of noodles to keep you company. Bonus points if they come loaded with sweet tomatoes, crunchy textured broccolini, grilled chicken to give some protein and fill-factor to keep you full, and sprinkling of feta cheese. Oh! And all topped with flavorful pesto because pesto on anything automatically makes it a game changer. If I could date this pasta I would. I think Kyle would understand.
Pasta is serious business.
There’s something so comforting about a big bowl of pasta. I feel like the past few years has seen a decline in pasta recipe on the inter webs since carbs have gotten a bad rep. Poor little macronutrients. While I’m all for trying to eat healthier and focus on “good” carbs, sometimes your foodie soul just needs a little somethin’ somethin’. I wanted to find a balance between super indulgent pasta dishes (I’m looking at you bacon carbonara) and “overly” healthy pasta dishes that seem so have had their little pasta souls sucked out. I know, I know- that’s a little of a dramatic description but totally necessary because I want to break through to you guys that this pasta is IT. You get a big serving, tons of fresh flavor, and all of your pasta craving satisfied in just 30 minutes. It’s the holy grail of pasta.
Rigatoni is actually a new noodle on my radar. I’m usually a more classic spaghetti girl, but I decided to try something new. Ya know, to be adventurous. To take a wild chance. My life is full of twist and turns and crazy decisions. I like to live on the edge.
And guess what! I think I found my new go-to noodle shape. Because when you’re a food blogger things like that seem important. What makes rigatoni extra special to me is the texture. It doesn’t get that soggy mushy-ness that most smaller and skinnier noodles seem to acquire more easily so you really feel like you’re sinking your teeth into the dish. It helps make this recipe filling while still being light! Hunger and cravings satisfied WHILE being healthy and not weighing you down.
My mom took a few bites of this Garlic Pesto Rigatoni and immediately burst into praise. She’s a good cook, but when there are too many cooks in the kitchen you know you’re going to have some disagreements and recipe criticism. I can’t tell you how many pointless arguments we’ve had over dishes we made. I remember one heated argument over the width of a white chocolate macadamia nut biscotti I had made. A doozy.
Anyways, she took one bite and immediately wanted to know the recipe. That’s a win in my book!
- 8 oz rigatoni pasta
- 8 oz baby broccolini
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, roughly diced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced into 1 inch pieces
- ¼ cup pesto
- ¼ cup feta cheese
- 2 tbsp parmesan
- Cook the rigatoni according to the package instructions. When there is just a few minutes left of cooking, add the baby broccolini and cook till fork-tender. Remove, drain, and set aside.
- Heat a large skillet with olive oil and cook the chopped garlic until fragrant. Add the grape tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the chicken breast, pasta, and broccolini.
- Add the pesto, feta, and parmesan and mix to combine. Enjoy!