Penne with Cilantro Pesto and Grilled Chicken

Another one from Cowgirl Cuisine!

Penne with Cilantro Pesto and Grilled Chicken

1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro, tender stems and leaves

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

1/2 cup grated Cotija cheese

3 Tbsp. toasted pecan halves

1 tsp. kosher salt, with more for seasoning

2 garlic cloves

1 to 2 serrano chiles, seeded and sliced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. sherry wine vinegar

12 cups hot cooked penne pasta (about 6 oz. uncooked)

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

2 (6 oz) chicken breasts, grilled and sliced

Freshly ground black pepper

Place the cilantro, mint, Cotija, pecans, the 1 tsp. salt, garlic, and serrano chiles in a food processor and process until well combined. With the processor on, slowly add the olive oil. Transfer the pesto to a large mixing bowl. Add the vinegar, hot pasta, tomatoes, and chicken and toss well. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper as desired.

Serves 6-8.

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