Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta
adapted from Cooking Light
12 oz. uncooked pasta (I used rotini but any short pasta will do)
2 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups low-fat milk, divided (I would sub skim)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup pesto
1/2 cup fat free half-and-half
1-2 cups shredded fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1 pint halved grape tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper, to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta cooking liquid, then drain. Set pasta aside.
Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Combine 1/2 cup milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in pesto. Gradually add remaining 1.5 cups milk and half-and-half, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook until sauce thickens, stirring frequently. Add the reserved cooking liquid, if needed, and approximately 1 cup cheese (more or less - your preference). Stir until cheese melts; season sauce with salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste.
Add sauce, chicken, tomatoes, and basil to pasta, tossing well to coat. (Or dump everything in the saucepan you used to make the sauce, if it's big enough. Why wash another bowl?) Sprinkle with parmesan cheese to serve.