Fettuccini Goes Green
I am crazy about Kale Pesto and I just can’t get enough of it. I have been trying it on everything from Caprese salads to hummus to this amazing pasta dish. Crispy Chicken Alfredo over Kale Pesto Fettuccine may very well be the queen of all pasta dishes because every bite is full of complex textures, layers of flavor and loads of antioxidant vitamins and other good things thanks to super kale. The walnuts, tomatoes and whole wheat pasta help out a bit too. This pasta is anything but boring and it’s kind of like two meals in one. If you’re vegetarian, you could easily just serve the Kale Pesto Fettuccine which is totally fabulous all on it’s own. The Crispy Chicken Alfredo is like the icing on the cake, but you could also toss it on a yummy salad or serve it with another side entirely. I’m all about mixing, matching and getting a little creative in the kitchen. And it’s so easy! This recipe only made enough for 2 adults and 2 kids, so like 3 servings but next time I will definitely double it up so we can enjoy the leftovers.
The Alfredo Challenge
I usually try to streamline my grocery shopping by buying everything I need at one store, not an easy task. My girls love Costco so that often means I end up buying in bulk when I really didn’t need to. And since not a single item goes to waste in my kitchen, I’m then faced with the challenge of working those ingredients into my recipes. Truth be told, I like a challenge. I mentioned that I had to buy some Alfredo sauce to make white meatballs for my daughter’s Frozen birthday party. I go all out crazy for my girls’ parties, and so I have to take as many shortcuts as possible. Believe it or not, this was the first jar of Alfredo sauce I’ve ever purchased in my entire life, because I would typically just make my own cream sauce from scratch. It’s totally easy, but I digress. The one jar I needed turned into a four pack of jars but at least it’s light and garlic flavored, not bad really. So I’ve already warned my husband and it’s only fair that I warn you that light garlic-flavored Alfredo sauce will be sneaking into my recipes until we’re done with those last 3 jars. And then I’ll either be a cream sauce jar junkie or I’ll go back to making homemade. We’ll see.
Anyway, my point is that you could totally leave the Alfredo out of this pasta recipe and it would still be pretty darn fantastic. The key to shortcut cooking that looks and tastes gourmet is layers of flavor and complexity. So although the Alfredo sauce wasn’t crucial to this dish, it did add another delicious layer of flavor. Should you choose to omit it, just add some of the pasta cooking liquid to the pesto to loosen it up to a sauce consistency. As for the chicken, you could batter it with mayonnaise instead, but I have to admit the Alfredo sauce made for a much crispier chicken, which was an awesome contrast to the creamy pasta.
Suggested Wine Pairings
This garlicky creamy pasta is anything but shy. It hits you with a variety of textures and flavors and that kind of complexity needs a substantially forceful wine with bright flavors to stand up to it. Try a Zinfandel, Primitivo, spicy Rosso di Montalcino or Syrah blend, any of which could stand up to the garlicky bite in the sauce and contribute its own layer of spice. If you prefer white wines, look for one that is full-bodied and preferably with some acidity because this dish is rich and creamy. An oak-aged Chardonnay or Viognier would pair well with a creamy pasta dish like this one.