Chicken and Shrimp Pesto Pasta with Mushrooms and Sun-dried Tomatoes

There’s this restaurant in Carson called House of Seafood that made me fall in love with pesto.  They make this scallop orecchiette pesto pasta with sun-dried tomatoes.  It’s creamy and lovely and all sorts of deliciousness.  The sun-dried tomatoes add that much needed acid, cutting the richness.  From that point on, I was on a mission to find a recipe comparable to that dish.  Though it’s still not quite exact, I found one that I absolutely love just as much.  In fact, I’ve made this dish about three times already and made my own modifications.

Chicken and Shrimp Pesto Pasta with Mushrooms and Sun-dried Tomatoes
(adapted from scandalous candice)

Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup granulated onion
3 tbsp minced garlic
1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb shrimp, shells off and de-veined
1 tsp dried thyme
2 basil leaves
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup parmesan
1/2 cup chicken broth
6.25 oz jar of pesto
1 container of mushrooms, sliced
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 lb bow-tie pasta

Instructions:
Cook the bow-tie pasta according to package instructions then set aside.  Heat oil in skillet over medium-high and add the shrimp until pink.  Transfer the cooked shrimp to a bowl and set aside.  Make sure not to overcook it.  Toss the mushrooms in the skillet and saute.  When done, transfer to another bowl and set aside.  Add minced garlic to the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the chicken and granulated onion and cook until golden brown on both sides.  Reduce heat to medium and add the thyme, bay leaves, heavy cream, and chicken broth.  Let simmer until sauce has thickened.  Add parmesan and cooked shrimp and simmer a little bit more.  Remove bay leaves.  Meanwhile, add the pesto, mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes to the bow-tie pasta and mix it up.  Pour the creamy chicken and shrimp sauce over the pasta and mix again, making sure everything is well coated.

Image

My two cents:
As I mentioned earlier, I am in love with this recipe.  The flavors complement one another and it has all my favorite things in it — chicken, shrimp, mushrooms, pesto, and sun-dried tomatoes!  I’m sorry if the picture above doesn’t show the shrimp but as I said, I’ve made this dish a couple times before and it only had the chicken.  One may also omit the shrimp if it’s not accessible.  The first time I made this — it was a total hit with the family and the other times, it was a hit with my boyfriend and my friends.  The original recipe called for sliced shallots but I’m not a fan so I merely added granulated onion.  I also changed the amount of heavy cream to only 1 cup instead of 1 and 1/2 cup, and added 1/2 cup chicken broth.  I didn’t want the sauce to be way too creamy, plus, I was also running out of heavy cream!  Regardless of all the modifications, the dish was still a success!

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