- Prepare the fresh ingredients: Chop the red onion, garlic, red chilies and basil as indicated in the ‘ingredients’ section.
Tomato Ricotta Pesto Pasta:
- Season and air fry the chicken: Spray the air fryer basket lightly with cooking oil spray. Preheat the air fryer for 3 minutes (or according to manufacturer’s instructions) at 190°C/375°F. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to a medium bowl. Season with garlic powder, smoked paprika, black pepper and kosher salt and mix to evenly coat. Place the chicken pieces in an even layer in the basket. Air fry for 6-7 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through. Transfer the chicken to a clean bowl and set aside. (Note: You can cook the chicken in a skillet lightly sprayed with oil for 5-7 minutes or until cooked through if you prefer or don’t have an air fryer.
- Cook the pasta: While the chicken is in the air fryer, cook the pasta al-dente according to package instructions in a large pot (or use the same large deep skillet you’ll use to cook the rest of the dish) of boiling water. Reserve ¼ cup of pasta cooking water, then drain and set aside.
- Sauté the aromatics: Heat the light butter and extra virgin olive oil in a large deep sauté pan over medium heat. Add the red onion, garlic and chilies and sauté for one minute until softened and fragrant.
- Build the pasta: Add the passata, orzo, Tomato & Ricotta pesto, ground cayenne, crushed red pepper flakes, kosher salt, black pepper and dried oregano. Mix to combine.
- Add the cheese and milk: reduce the heat to low and make a small hole in the middle of the pan. Add the Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedges, unsweetened almond milk and 2 tablespoons of reserved pasta cooking water. Gently mix in the same spot until the cheese breaks down and the sauce is creamy. Then mix to combine the sauce with everything else. If the sauce thickens too much, add a splash of the reserved pasta water. If it’s too thin, continue cooking until it clings onto the pasta.
- Add the chicken: Add the cooked chicken back into the pan and mix to combine.
- Stir through the basil: Stir through most of the sliced basil (reserve some for garnish), then switch off the heat.
- To Serve: Divide evenly onto plates and garnish with the remaining basil. Serve immediately.