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Green Bean and Pesto Pasta with Chicken

Green beans and chicken go a long way in this pasta with pesto recipe.

Serves 6 / This pasta stretches two chicken breasts into six servings with a garden of fresh vegetables; use chicken thighs for even more savings. If your family doesn’t care for artichokes, feel free to leave them out; the dish will still be delicious. Frozen green beans (1 1/2 cups) may be substituted for fresh, but add to water only 2 minutes before pasta is done.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, sliced thinly across the grain

1 onion, chopped

1 small eggplant (4 ounces), diced

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon dried oregano

1 (15-ounce) can artichoke heart quarters, drained (optional)

6 small white potatoes (11–12 ounces), quartered

½ pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

½ pound thin spaghetti

1 cup pasta water or white wine

1 (6-ounce) jar pesto

Juice of ½ lemon

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil; keep warm.

2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large, deep pot. Add chicken and sauté until brown, about 1 minute. Remove to a plate. Add onion, eggplant, garlic powder, and oregano to pot; sauté until brown and eggplant is crusty, about 15 minutes. Stir in artichokes, if using. Reduce heat and keep warm.

3. Return salted water to a gentle boil and add potatoes. Cook for 8 minutes, and then add green beans; cook for 1 minute, and add pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente and vegetables are tender, 8–10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water.

4. Increase onion-eggplant mixture to high heat. Add pasta water and pesto. Boil until liquid is reduced by half, 3–5 minutes. Add chicken, pasta, green beans, and potatoes. Toss well and heat through, squeeze lemon juice over all, and serve.

PER SERVING: 406 cal, 13g fat (6g mono, 5g poly, 2g sat), 21mg chol, 19g protein, 54g carb, 12g fiber, 406mg sodium

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