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When I find something delicious that I just can’t resist, I tend to stick with it. Examples:

1. Chicken Marsala from Carrabba’s

2. Pesto Cavatappi from Noodles & Company

3. Stir Fry Udon from Hawkers

4. My husband.

All of these are tried-and-true and have never let me down.

When I was pregnant with Sully, Rudy and I were still living long-distance. My daughter Cassidy and I were in Indianapolis where she was finishing her last year of high school. She was also working at Old Navy, which just happened to be verrrrrry close to Noodles & Company. You know where this is going, right?

I’d come home from work, feed the dogs, feed growing Sully 6 or 7 waffles (only a slight exaggeration), feed my Netflix binging habit, and FaceTime Rudy. Sometimes Cassidy would come home from work and bring my prego self some pesto cavatappi. (And maybe one of their gigantic rice krispie treats.) (And/Or maybe some cake batter ice cream from Cold Stone with vanilla wafers and walnuts.) Wow. I was needy.

Since I’ve recently made pesto, I decided to whip up some copycat pesto cavatappi. I say “copycat” but maybe I should call it “revamped.” I always order mine with extra sauce and extra veggies so my recipe has more of both. Also, Noodles & Co. has wine in their recipe but I left that out. (You can always drink it while eating this recipe if you’re a stickler for details.)

In other news this week, I need to do my stupid taxes this weekend! Arghhhh. You know how little kids blow raspberries when they get mad and frustrated? The don’t know what else to do with themselves, especially when they know they’ll get into trouble if they hit someone. So they just stick out their tongues and… pbbbbbt! That’s how I feel about doing my taxes. I can think of at least 79 billion other things I would rather do. Except unload the dishwasher. I would rather do taxes than unload the dishwasher.

Okay guys, if you’re coming back here through my social media over and over and you haven’t subscribed to my e-mail list… why not? Everybody’s doing it! Cave into the peer pressure and click here.

And come back here to D&D after you’ve made this recipe and let me know how you liked it. Let me know how your family liked it. Let me know how your picky 2-year-old ran away from it screaming. Wait. Maybe that’s just my house.

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Pesto Cavatappi
5 from 1 vote
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Pesto Cavatappi

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces cavatappi
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast cubed
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms washed, stems removed, and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup pesto can substitute store-bought
  • 12-16 grape tomatoes Halved
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup good quality parmesan + extra for topping
  • olive oil

Instructions

  1. Cook the cavatappi according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add the chicken and season with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook until done and set aside.

  3. In a large pot, heat up another tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are nice and soft, about 4 minutes.

  4. Add the pesto and tomatoes and stir around for another 2 minutes.

  5. Add the heavy cream and parmesan and stir well to combine.

  6. Fold in the chicken and pasta.

  7. Serve with additional parmesan on top as desired. 

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