What's Cooking: Sun-dried Tomato Paste Penne with Chicken and Avocado Recipe

I made up this recipe last night to use up some avocados, sun-dried tomato paste and fresh basil that were about to go bad.  A fresh, summery pasta dish that tastes great fresh and warm or cold the next day. 



Sun-dried Tomato Paste:
12 sun-dried tomatoes
2 frozen minced garlic cubes
1/2 cup olive oil

1 8oz box of penne pasta (I use Nature's Legacy Organic Spelt Penne)
1.5 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast
Extra virgin olive oil for sauteing
A bunch of fresh basil leaves
6 frozen chopped basil cubes
2 medium avocados


*Sun-dried tomato paste:
Place sun-dried tomatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Drain tomatoes and combine with garlic and olive oil. Blend using an immersion blender until mostly smooth, leaving a bit of texture. Season with salt to taste.

Boil pasta according to box instructions, add a little olive oil to coat and set aside.

Cover the bottom of a pan with olive oil, sprinkle with a dash of salt, and heat on medium. When oil is hot, add chicken breasts and saute for a few minutes on each side until cooked throughout. Cut chicken into thin strips, about the same size as the penne noodles, and set aside.  

If there is oil or juice from the chicken left in the pan, drain most of it but leave a small amount to saute basil. Turn the heat to medium low, add basil leaves and frozen cubes and saute until leaves are wilted and cubes are no longer frozen. While the basil is sauteing, cube avocados.

Coat penne with basil and add avocado cubes and chicken strips. Serve with sun-dried tomato pasta on the side and add to taste.

Store leftover sun-dried tomato paste in fridge and use as a spread on toast, a dip for shabbos or on sandwiches. 


*Sun-dried tomato paste adapted from The Food Network