Jody Eddy’s Seaweed Pesto Chicken Pasta
Milled seaweed is easily tucked into this garlicky pesto recipe, infusing it with a subtle saline flavour that pairs well with the lush notes of basil and lemony parsley. Kelp, which is rich in vitamin A, calcium and amino acids, is used in this recipe, but any seaweed variety, such as bladderwrack or dulse, would work well too. Substitute hazelnuts for the almonds for an earthier flavour or walnuts for a more delicate taste. The pesto will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to one week and is also fantastic as a sandwich spread or to gussy up scrambled eggs.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
For the seaweed pesto
2 large bunches basil (including stems)
6 sprigs parsley (including stems)
150g almonds, toasted
4 cloves garlic
150g Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tbsp milled kelp
8 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the chicken pasta
500g fusilli (or pasta of your choice)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, roughly chopped
2 dried red chillies, rehydrated and finely chopped
2 skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
almonds, roughly chopped and toasted
Combine the basil, parsley, almonds, garlic, Parmesan and kelp in a food processor and pulse while adding the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until the pesto is slightly smooth but still retains a little chunkiness. Season with salt and pepper. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and simmer until just cooked through, for about eight minutes.
Drain, return to the saucepan and cover to keep warm. Heat one tbsp of olive oil in a sauté pan and sauté the onion, chillies and chicken over a medium-high heat until the onion is translucent and the chicken is cooked through, for about nine minutes. Toss together the chicken, pesto and tomatoes with the pasta until well incorporated. Spoon into a bowl, garnish with chopped toasted almonds and sprinkle with kelp.
Extracted from Recipes and Stories from Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way by Jody Eddy (Gill Books, €9.99), out now. Photography by Sandeep Patwal. To order, click here