This pasta combines lots of favourites in a yummy bowl – with chicken breast, bacon, cherry tomatoes and pesto, it's sure to please the whole family. Plus there’s a secret addition of grated zucchini. The tender strands melt into the sauce, adding flavour and goodness – but nobody will know!
/ serving 4 people
/ serving 4 people
basil pesto(ContainsMilk, Tree Nuts)
shaved Parmesan cheese(ContainsMilk)
baby spinach leaves
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Grate the zucchini. Finely chop the garlic (or use a garlic press). Slice the bacon into 1cm strips. Slice the chicken breast into 1cm strips.
Place the cherry tomatoes on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until the cherry tomatoes are soft and the skin is slightly blistered, 15 minutes.
While the cherry tomatoes are roasting, add the penne to the saucepan of boiling water and cook until ‘al dente’, 10 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water, then drain the penne and return to the saucepan. Drizzle with a little olive oil and cover with a lid to keep warm. TIP: 'Al dente' means the pasta is cooked through but still has a tiny bit of firmness in the middle.
While the pasta is cooking, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until golden, 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Transfer to a plate. Return the frying pan to a medium-high heat and add the chicken. Cook, tossing occasionally, until cooked through, 4-5 minutes. Return the bacon and garlic to the pan along with the grated zucchini and cook, stirring, until softened, 1 minute
Add the penne to the frying pan with the chicken mixture. Add the basil pesto, baby spinach leaves and 1/2 the shaved Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and toss well to coat. TIP: Add a little of the reserved pasta water to loosen if necessary. Add the roasted cherry tomatoes and gently toss to combine. TIP: Toss everything together in the saucepan if your frying pan isn't big enough.
Divide the chicken and bacon pesto pasta between bowls and sprinkle with the remaining shaved Parmesan.