This variation of pesto, sans pine nuts, has origins in Provence, France, where it is known as Pistou.
By Kelsey Hilts
Not all pestos are made with pine nuts. Those with pine nuts come from Italy. This variation, sans pine nuts, has origins in Provence, France, where it is known as Pistou. Without the pine nuts it is much lighter than traditional pestos but I think you’ll find that you don’t miss the pine nuts at all because the intensely fresh flavors of the basil, garlic and parmesan cheese are still present. Like pesto, the sauce goes a long way and you can freeze any leftovers. About half of a batch of pistou makes enough pasta to easily feed four people.
- 4 cups (160g) basil leaves
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup (59mL) chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp (11g) grated parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp (13,5g) olive oil
- Roughly one half of a batch of Pistou, to taste
- 3-4 lean chicken thighs, trimmed of all excess fat or 2-3 chicken breasts
- 2 cups (232g) conchiglie pasta, cooked
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tsp (9g) olive oil
- Mix all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- Store leftover sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator or the freezer.
- Place the chicken thighs on a broiling pan and broil them in the oven for five-seven minutes on each side.
- Cut the chicken into small pieces.
- Pour the oil into a pan and heat it at medium-high.
- Finish cooking the chicken until it is done.
- Add the pistou sauce and pasta to the cooked chicken and toss them together.
- Sprinkle the pasta with Parmesan cheese.
Kelsey Hilts is the founder of Itsy Bitsy Foodies, an online resource for families looking for ways to spend more time together enjoying food and exploring the world beyond the children’s menu.