Chicken Carbonara with Pea & Basil Pesto


This healthy version of carbonara is the bomb. Instead of using cream I used fat-free yogurt and it tasted even better. I had leftover roast chicken and decided to shred it and add it to the mix. This is the perfect meal to make if you’re in a rush or don’t feel like slaving over the stove. If you’re feeling super lazy you can buy the pesto, but it always tastes better if you make your own.


3-4 free range chicken breasts or leftover chicken, shredded
Sea salt & black pepper
Olive oil
A handful of fresh basil leaves
50 g pine nuts, roasted
50 g shaved Parmesan
200 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
100 g frozen garden peas
1 lemon
Pinch of sea salt
500 g whole-wheat or gluten-free fusilli
100 g fat-free yogurt
1 large free-range egg
1 packet rocket
Shaved Parmesan for serving

Serves 4
Preparation 15 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes

Boil the kettle and place a griddle pan on high heat.

Place a pan of boiling salted water on high heat, pour the peas into a colander and steam on top of the pasta water for 30 seconds. Then in a food processor add the basil, pine nuts, the juice of 1 lemon, grated parmesan and garlic. While the machine is on, drizzle olive oil until combined. Then add the peas and pulse until slightly blended (you want to be a left with a few whole peas). Set aside.

If you’re using fresh chicken, season the breasts with sea salt, black pepper and olive oil. Place on the piping hot griddle pan, cook for 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through (cut into the thickest part of the breast to see if it’s done). Once the chicken is cooked, cut into bite-sized pieces.

Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, then drain, reserving a cup of the pasta water.

To assemble, warm the pesto on a frying pan, then add the pasta and a dash of the water. Mix for 30 seconds. Then in a bowl whisk together the yogurt, egg and a pinch of salt and pepper. Turn the heat off and mix in the yogurt mixture.

In a bowl dress the rocket with a good squeeze of lemon juice and then mix in the chicken and shaved parmesan. Place on top of the pasta and enjoy.

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