Picture the scene a couple of Fridays ago. It was pouring with rain the whole way home, it was cold, and all I wanted to do was get in my house, in my pyjamas and eat some stodge. Because I batch cook a lot, I generally have ready-made meals in my freezer, so I figured I'd have something like my mushroom lasagne, maybe a bit of extra cheese, and then flop.
Anyway. I got home, and discovered a problem - I'd worked my way through all of my freezer meals. Nothing left except a rubbish pasta dish that was entirely tasteless. So I was left with a choice - eat the boring pasta dish and be hungry all evening (don't you find disappointing food never really fills you up?), go out in the rain and buy food, or get a takeaway. And I... went out in the rain. I WAS IMPRESSED TOO. But it wasn't actually that bad in the end, and it meant that whilst I walked to Tesco, I could think about what I fancied to eat and work out the points on my phone. By the time I got there, I knew that I wanted pesto, I wanted cheese and I wanted broccoli.
See, this is what happens when you eat healthily for a while. You start craving things like broccoli. Bloomin' love broccoli.
Blue Cheese Pesto Pasta
240g Pasta - 23PP
500g Chicken Breasts - 12PP
150g Danish Blue - 14PP
3 tbsp Pesto - 4PP
100g Philadelphia Light - 4PP
4 cloves garlic
2 red onions
1 punnet mushrooms
Big bunch of Broccoli
=57PP / 10PP per person
To reduce points: Reduce the chicken (it really wasn't needed), less cheese, less pesto
1. Put your pasta on to boil as per the package instructions.
2. Chop up your broccoli and boil in a separate pan for 7-10 minutes until tender (if you're super organised you could use the same pan as your pasta, just do the broccoli first and then use the same water to do the pasta).
3. Chop up your chicken and cook in your pan or wok with a little water to prevent sticking.
4. Add half your garlic as the chicken is cooking so it absorbs the flavour
5. While these are cooking, chop up your onions and mushrooms and set aside for a moment.
6. When your chicken is cooked through, add 1 tablespoon of pesto to it and stir until the chicken is covered.
7. Add the veg, stir well and pop the lid on for 5-10 minutes while the veg softens.
8. Add your Philadelphia and stir well - the liquid in the pan will help turn the cheese into a sauce, but if it's lumpy, add a splash of milk.
9. Chop up your blue cheese and toss it into the pan. Stir well. It's a soft cheese, so it will merge into the sauce easily.
10. Let this simmer away for a while. Your pasta should be done by now, so drain it, then pop it back in the same pan. Add a tablespoon of pesto to the pasta alone and stir until totally covered.
11. Chop up your broccoli and add to the sauce, then throw your pesto pasta in too.
12. Add the spinach to the pan and cover for about 3 minutes until wilted. Make sure you stir the sauce at regular intervals so it doesn't stick.
13. When the spinach has wilted, stir well until combined with the sauce. Add your third tbsp of pesto to the pan and stir through.
14. And you're done! If you fancy, you could then pour all of this into a lasagne dish, cover with a little cheddar, and bake for 15 mins or so to let those flavours all really combine. I served it as it was though with a little extra cheese on top instead... NOM. Exactly what I fancied.
Plus, the benefits of batch cooking - I had five more portions of this to add to my freezer stash. Hooray! If I made this again, I'd definitely bake it, and I'd cut out the chicken as although it was nice, it really didn't add anything. I think bacon could be good though!
As always, let us know in the comments or on Twitter if you make this - we love to see your recipe pics!