Grilled Chicken with Arugula Pesto and Caesar Spaghetti
extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce, eyeball the amount
heads escarole, washed
freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste
grated pecorino romano
anchovy fillets, drained ***optional
INGREDIENTS FOR GRILLED CHICKEN WITH ARUGULA PESTO
sliced or slivered almonds or shelled pistachios
packed fresh arugula leaves
garlic, grated or minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast (tenders removed)
***time saver: buy ready-made pesto and just add the arugula and almonds
1For the Ceasar Spaghetti: Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, salt the water. Add the pasta and cook until just shy of al dente, according to package directions.
2Heads up: you need to reserve about 1 cup of the starchy cooking water just before draining.
3If using the anchovies: While the pasta is cooking, put a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the extra-virgin olive oil. Add the anchovies and cook until they've melted into the oil, about 2 minutes.
4Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic, stir 1 minute then add in Worcestershire.
5Shred the escarole and add several handfuls at a time, wilting the greens in the garlic oil.
6Dress the greens with lots of pepper and a little nutmeg, then squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the pan.
7Add the reserved starchy cooking water to the eggs in a small bowl and beat together to temper them.
8Turn off the heat and add the drained pasta and the egg mixture.
9Stir to combine.
10Add half of the cheese and toss vigorously for 1 minute.
11Dress the pasta with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and transfer to a serving dish. Top with Grilled Chicken with Arugula Pesto. Pass the remaining cheese at the table.
12For the Grilled Chicken with Arugula Pesto, heat a grill pan to high
13To make your own pesto, toast the nuts lightly in small skillet over low heat, then add them to a food processor.
14Add the arugula, basil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper, to taste, and pulse to combine.
15With the processor on, stream in the extra-virgin olive oil to form a thick pesto.
16Or if using the ready- made pesto, just add the arugula and almonds to the pesto in a food processor and pulse to combine.
17Lightly pound out the chicken, then rub all sides with the pesto. Spray the grill pan with cooking spray or rub with a little oil and grill the chicken 2 to 4 minutes on each side.
18Serve sliced on top of Caesar Spaghetti or, pile it onto ciabatta bread with sliced tomatoes and mozzarella for a sandwich.