Jacked Up Excited

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I don’t like basil pesto. I’ve tried it several times, and I just can’t bring myself to enjoy it. It is weird because I enjoy every ingredient in it. I also love the way it looks mixed into pasta. Finally, my brain got creative.

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Cilantro Pesto Pasta with Zesty Cilantro Chicken Meatballs!!
This is where you say, “Shut the front door!!” I say, “oh yeah, and it was so flippin’ good!” I have figured this would make 6-8 serving, I literally had to pry the dish out of my husband’s hands and get some of it in the fridge so there would be leftovers tomorrow. Yeah, I kinda heart leftovers! I’m not gonna fib, there is some prep work but it is manageable and so worth it!

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Here is what you’ll need:

Meatballs:
1 pound of ground chicken
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup cilantro (I love cilantro, if you don’t, you may want to cut in half)
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp diced Jalepeño
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4-1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1 egg
salt and pepper

Pasta:
Entire box of penne rigate I used Dreamfields it was great (and low carb!)
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
olive oil

Pesto:
20 pecan halves
1/2 avocado
1 cup cilantro
juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 cup parmesan
olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400. In a small food processor, pulse cilantro, Jalepeño, garlic until everything is minced.
2. Combine all other meatball ingredients and roll into about 15 meatballs. Bake on sprayed for 20 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked through.

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3. While meatballs are cooking, boil pasta in salted water according to package.
4. While pasta/meatballs are cooking, run pesto ingredients in food processor. Add about 3-4 tablespoons olive oil. Pesto will be thick, taste and adjust seasonings.
4. Combine cooked pasta, corn tomatoes, pesto if pesto it too thick, stir in additional olive oil to taste, I added about 1 tablespoon. May need to allow to reheat for a few minutes.
5. Top with chicken meatballs.
Serve!
Meatballs adapted from SkinnyTaste.

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