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Pesto Sauce and Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Chicken Breast

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Coming Soon to Amazon IN PRINT Cucina Amelia, how all of this intercity Italian cooking began, stories of the Italian grandmothers and what they brought to the table, and lots more recipes from the Sicilian and Neapolitan traditions. Patricia says, "It didn't matter that the recipes were brought over from Avellino, Naples or Palermo, Sicily; these cities crossed boundaries in my mother's kitchen for the most delicious of everything." Pre-order you books now for Mother's Day.

Excerpt from Cucina Amelia:

PASTA AND PESTO

If Mamma thought she had a green sauce with her guguzile and spaghetti, what would she think of my pesto sauce? At 91 years old, her doctors did not restrict her diet. Adding salt was the only no-no so I curbed its use and cooked her favorites, but one day I spiced up her diet with pesto. Mamma loved the taste and asked for seconds. She said when she got better; she'd cook pesto, too. To accomplish this Genovese stand, all you need is a blender.

Pesto Sauce

Ingredients:

2 full cups of washed and drained basil leaves

3 cloves of garlic, cut up in fours

1 cup of your favorite brand of olive oil

pinch of salt

1 tablespoons pignoli nuts

1 ½ pounds of your favorite pasta

Directions: In a blender place washed basil leaves, add the cup of olive oil, chopped garlic, pignoli nuts, pinch of salt. Blend until the leaves are liquefied with the rest of the ingredients. It's okay if some of the pignoli and garlic pieces don't blend. Set aside. While the pasta cooks in boiling water, take a couple of spoonfuls of the salted water, and place into the blender with the pesto mixture. Hit the blend button for a second. That's it, you're ready to top the pesto onto the pasta. Serve with a Riesling wine. Use the pesto mixture on ravioli. Great with eggs, too.

SAUTEED PESTO CHICKEN BREAST

AND SUN-DRIED TOMATOES

Now that I had Mamma used to pesto, I tried to show her my creativity with chicken and sundried tomatoes.

PESTO AND SAUTEED CHICKEN BREAST

4 slices of pounded chicken breasts

½ cup sun-dried tomatoes

pesto mixture (previous recipe)

salt and pepper to taste

1 clove of sliced garlic

Directions: In a large skillet, heat a small amount of olive oil to cover the bottom. Once oil is heated, place in garlic. Lower heat.. Add chicken breast and allow to cook on both sides. Slice chicken in strips or chunks whichever way you desire. Add sun-dried tomatoes, continue to stir. Add a small amount of pesto, and coat the chicken. Add more pesto if desired. Great over rice or pasta.

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