One late summer, while I was getting ready for my return flight to Canada, my eighty-something years young grandmother wanted me to take with me, in my luggage, a bouquet from her garden of my beloved culinary herb, basil. After my attempt to explain that this is inconvenient to carry a fresh plant in a suitcase during an almost 8-hour flight and that I can buy basil in Toronto, she concluded "yes, but it is not going to be like mine." Then, I promised to her and mostly to myself that I will plant, take good care and grow my own basil. This summer I finally had the time to grow my own herbs since we haven't traveled outside of Canada. In May, I planted a big pot with sweet genovese basil. Having placed it in a sunny spot, watering it almost every morning, I was gifted with an abundance of a rich green, luscious, saturated in strong sweet aroma and delicate white flowers herb. I've been using the leaves almost in every salad, eggs and sandwiches I've made so far, but this weekend I took my scissors and made really good use of the plant. I put the basil in a food processor with pine nuts, garlic, a pinch of salt and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Slowly added extra-virgin olive oil in a steady small stream. I transferred the mixture into a small mason jar and held it to my nose, breathing in. It smelled of summer and green hills and blue skies and old sticky hands and a garden with a patch of basil. I devoured a spoon in my mouth and realized the truth - when life gives you basil, make pesto.
And when you have pesto, it feels like a pasta night... 

Basil Pesto Ravioli with Chicken and Sun-dried Tomatoes  


1 pack of cheese ravioli
1 chicken breast, cubed
1/3 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, sliced
3 tablespoons  basil pesto
sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
red pepper flakes (optional)
salt and black pepper


Cook ravioli according to package directions. Drain well and set aside.
Combine olive oil, onion, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sun-dried tomatoes. Sauté gently until soften but not turning brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add the cubed chicken breast and cook until cooked through, about 7-10 minutes. Take 3 tablespoons from the pesto jar and add each separately as you stir constantly. Turn heat down to medium low. Make the mixture thin with 1/4 cup water. Add the cooked ravioli and toss until all ingredients are coated in the pesto. Add more water if needed. Stir until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan.


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