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Pesto Chicken Pasta With Pumpkin

© Julie
Photo by Julie O’Malley

Pesto Chicken Pasta With Pumpkin

Serves 4

45g (1/4 cup) pine nuts
1kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cut into 2cm pieces
1/2 cup olive oil
240g cherry truss tomatoes
400g dried spaghetti
3 chicken breast fillets
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 small garlic clove, halved
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
1/2 cup buttermilk
Fresh basil leaves, extra, to serve

1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Bake pine nuts for 5 minutes or until toasted. Transfer to a plate to cool.
2. Place pumpkin on the tray and drizzle with a tablespoon of oil. Season. Bake for 30 minutes. Add tomatoes and bake for 15 minutes or until pumpkin is golden and tomatoes are soft.
3. Cook pasta in a pan of salted boiling water. Drain and return to the pan.
4. Heat a tablespoon of the remaining oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook for 5 to 6 minutes each side or until cooked. Shred into large pieces.
5. Pulse basil, garlic, pinenuts and parmesan in a food processor until finely chopped. With the motor running, gradually add remaining oil in a thin steady stream. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the buttermilk.
6. Add chicken and pesto to pasta, and toss well. Add the pumpkin and gently toss to coat. Serve topped with the tomatoes and extra basil leaves.

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