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Arugula Pesto Pasta

with Chicken and Castelvetrano Olives

Arugula Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Castelvetrano Olives

Although most fruit is at its best when freshly picked, fresh olives contain a bitter compound that makes them completely unpalatable. They must go through a long curing process before they hit your table. Castelvetrano olives are grown exclusively in the town of its name in Sicily. They are harvested in the fall and are brined in a salty solution, giving them a mild and slightly sweet flavor

Arugula Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Castelvetrano Olives ingredients
  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 8 Ounces Radiatore Pasta
  • 1 Bunch Arugula
  • 2 Tablespoons Pine Nuts
  • 2 Ounces Castelvetrano Olives
  • ½ Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
1
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. While you’re waiting, smash the garlic, remove the skins, and chop finely, until it is essentially a paste. Pit the olives by crushing them with a small pan against the cutting board, so you can easily remove the pits. Set each of these aside in small bowls. Next, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, set aside, and wash your hands and cutting board.
2
Reserve a tablespoon each of the pine nuts and cheese for garnish later on. Then, very finely chop arugula, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese together until well combined, adding salt and pepper to taste. Put in a bowl and add olive oil until the mixture resembles a paste. If you want to get fancy and have the equipment, you can use a blender or mortar and pestle to combine the ingredients.
3
Coat the bottom of a medium pan with oil and place onto medium-high heat. Sauté chicken until the outside is browned and insides are cooked through, about four minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
4
Once the pot of water is at a rolling boil, place pasta in and cook for 9-11 minutes, or until al dente. Strain cooked pasta, but reserve a ½ cup of the pasta water.
5
Mix the cooked pasta with the chicken in the pan, and remove from heat. Add the pesto and reserved pasta water, and stir to coat.
6
Plate the pasta and chicken, and top with the chopped Castelvetrano olives. Garnish with the reserved Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Serve and eat!

Tips from Home Chefs

1
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. While you’re waiting, smash the garlic, remove the skins, and chop finely, until it is essentially a paste. Pit the olives by crushing them with a small pan against the cutting board, so you can easily remove the pits. Set each of these aside in small bowls. Next, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, set aside, and wash your hands and cutting board.
2
Reserve a tablespoon each of the pine nuts and cheese for garnish later on. Then, very finely chop arugula, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese together until well combined, adding salt and pepper to taste. Put in a bowl and add olive oil until the mixture resembles a paste. If you want to get fancy and have the equipment, you can use a blender or mortar and pestle to combine the ingredients.
3
Coat the bottom of a medium pan with oil and place onto medium-high heat. Sauté chicken until the outside is browned and insides are cooked through, about four minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
4
Once the pot of water is at a rolling boil, place pasta in and cook for 9-11 minutes, or until al dente. Strain cooked pasta, but reserve a ½ cup of the pasta water.
5
Mix the cooked pasta with the chicken in the pan, and remove from heat. Add the pesto and reserved pasta water, and stir to coat.
6
Plate the pasta and chicken, and top with the chopped Castelvetrano olives. Garnish with the reserved Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Serve and eat!