All of my very close friends, those who know me really well and whom I am most free around, are those I was in High school with. We have maintained friendship ever since and often when we hang out, we indulge in each other’s hobby’s. My friend, Gakii, is one of those pals who I have been with since high school, through university and I am sure, through the times ahead. She enjoys cooking just as I do and she is also one fierce fashionista, refer to her blog for more details. We decided to have a small cooking session as we spent our afternoon together, coz that’s the best way to spend any afternoon :). Our good and talented friend, Frank, was also generous enough to take photos for us as we cooked. It was a day well spent!

Remember when we talked about simple meals with sophisticated names? This one fits the bill. This is a quick and easy dish in which penne pasta is tossed with marinated chicken in a simple but outrageously delicious pesto. You will love my chicken pesto penne!




For the pesto

3 bunches of coriander

2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 handful of roasted ground nuts

5 cloves of garlic

Extra Virgin Olive oil

For the pasta

Penne Pasta

2 chicken thigh, filleted (or breast)

One onion, diced

One tomato, roughly chopped

Cheddar Cheese



Cut your chicken into stripes and marinate it overnight. In my marinade, I used dried rosemary, garlic powder, coriander powder, freshly squeezed lemon juice, a table spoon of dark mushroom soy sauce. I used the garlic and coriander powder as I was too tired to use the actual herbs, and this I highlighted on facebook and twitter.


Spices offer a really good short cut when the need arises and they work just as well.

Boil your penne pasta, following the time limit indicated on the package. Once you are done, run them through cold water then set them aside. This will allow them not to stick to each other as we work on the pesto.

For the pesto, put all your ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend all of these together.


As the contents turn into a paste, pour your olive oil inside slowly, as Gakii is doing below, (about 3 table spoons) as the blender runs on slow speed. We were really focused at this point, LOL! Once you are done, set it aside.

Pouring olive oil into pesto

Finely chop your onions, but for the tomatoes, just dice them. If you have cherry tomatoes,  add them in whole.


In a lightly greased and heated sufuria, add your onions and saute them until they are soft. Add your chicken and all the contents of the marinade and fry until its cooked. Because the chicken is in strips, this may take about 5 minutes to get done.

Then add your penne pasta which you had already cooked then mix it in. Then add your pesto, and mix until everything is evenly coated.


Follow this with your roughly chopped tomato in and your cheese. mix everything, and after your cheese has melted and and mixed through out. Add some salt according to your taste and some black pepper for taste.

Always taste to confirm whether your penne is well seasoned. I almost started eating straight from the sufuria, because it was so delicious! LOL. Gakii was taking a break right behind me, so I decided to behave :-p

kaluhi tasting pesto penne

Then serve warm.

You can use any other pasta for this. Even spaghetti can work just as fine, I just felt the need to use penne pasta for a little change. For the pesto, you can also use basil or any other herb, I used coriander because it was easiest accessible for me. This meal goes really well with meatballs or gravy.

Till next time,

Sending happiness your way,

Kaluhi and Gakii

Download this recipe and give it a try

Kaluhi's Kitchen Recipes

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