FOOD AND HOTEL REVIEW

Where are we eating today: CJ’s Creamy pesto pasta

The food is quite filling and the serving is a lot.

In Summary

•Pesto is rich in fats, protein, and calcium and is made from basil, olive oil, and parmesan cheese.

•The buttered bread is quite tasty, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Chicken pesto pasta
Chicken pesto pasta
Image: MARGARET WANJIRU

I have always wanted to try pesto pasta for the longest.

Pesto pasta is a yummy cheesy and herbaceous meal that comes with the option of chicken strips or roasted vegetables.

You can never go wrong with pesto on spaghetti or pasta. Pesto is rich in fats, protein, and calcium and is made from basil, olive oil, and parmesan cheese.

Café Java’s(CJ’S) Chicken pesto comes with Tagliatelle pasta served with marinated chicken strips tossed in pesto sauce. It comes with buttered bread on the side and only goes for ksh.1450.

The pasta used is the flat, ribbon noodle which is best served with a thick, creamy sauce.

Pesto should be a little chunky, not uniformly smooth. A little texture is a key to making the perfect pesto pasta.

The food is quite filling and the serving is a lot, a tradition that CJ'S has tried to maintain over the years.

a pesto should be a little chunky, not uniformly smooth. A little texture is key
a pesto should be a little chunky, not uniformly smooth. A little texture is key
Image: MARGARET WANJIRU

The pasta and chicken were honestly the favourites I have had in a minute.

The buttered bread is quite tasty, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

The best part about pesto pasta is that the dish is quite simple to prepare and it can be made in the comfort of your home.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • Vegetable oil (olive oil)
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (heat)
  • 1 lb tagliatelle or pasta of choice
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup reserved pasta water

Preparation

Step 1

Bring salted water to a boil, and cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve ⅓ cup of pasta water and drain the pasta.

Step 2

Using a food processor add basil leaves, garlic cloves, cheese, salt, and pepper. Pulse until all ingredients are chopped.

Step 3

Add vegetable oil to the mixture in the food processor and blend.

Step 4

In a large pan, melt 2 tbsp unsalted butter, add in the blended pesto then stir to combine.

Step 5

Add in 2 tbsp of heavy cream and crushed red pepper flakes (optional). Simmer the sauce until fully combined.

Step 6

Add the cooked/drained pasta into the pesto sauce and using tongs, carefully toss to coat the pasta.

Step 7

Add in 2-3 tbsp of reserved pasta water until the pasta is fully coated with the sauce and silky.

Toast some bread and serve with guacamole or additional cheese over the top. Enjoy with friends and family!

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