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Serves 4-5
Cooking time: About 30 minutes
Recipe type: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 ½ pounds)
  • 1 ½ TBSP olive oil
  • ½ tsp coarse kosher salt
  • Dash of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 12 ounces baby Portobello mushrooms, wash and drain
  • 5 ounces homemade pesto sauce, or store bought pesto. Defrost the pesto in room temperature for about 30 minutes, if frozen.
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 12 ounces uncooked cavatappi (also called cellentani) pasta
  • ½ -3/4 tsp Aleppo pepper (Turkish Pul Biber) (may substitute with equal parts smoked paprika and ancho chili powder or a light sprinkle of red pepper flakes)
  1. Cook the cavatappi pasta in salted water until al dente, drain and keep warm.
  2. slice the mushrooms and set aside.
  3. Remove all fat from the chicken breasts. Slice each chicken breast lengthwise to half its thickness, so you have 4 pieces. Slice each sliced breast into ½-inch thick pieces.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken pieces in a single layer to the skillet. Sprinkle with kosher salt and a dash of freshly cracked black pepper. Brown on one side undisturbed for about 7 minutes, or until light golden brown. Use a spatula to turn the pieces and brown the other side, 4-5 minutes, or until no longer pink inside.
  5. There will be some natural juices in the skillet from cooking the chicken. Remove all the cooked chicken with a slotted spoon and keep warm.
  6. Add the sliced mushrooms to the same skillet and toss with the juices. Saute over medium high heat for about 5 minutes. The mushrooms should be tender but still very juicy. Do not dry them out by overcooking them.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium and add the pesto sauce and cooked chicken to the mushrooms. Toss to coat and saute for 5 more minutes .
  8. Add the heavy cream and stir to combine with the pesto sauce.
  9. Add cooked cavatappi to the skillet and toss until well coated with the cream pesto sauce. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 5 more minutes. Stir frequently.
  10. Sprinkle with Aleppo pepper and serve immediately with a side of salad and a slice of garlic bread.
Recipe by Persian Mama at