In need of a quick dinner fix? Pizza Express has got your back. Not only has the chain restaurant released step-by-step instructions for many of its dough-based dishes in recent weeks, including favourites like the Fiorentina and Leggera Padana, it’s now come to our midweek rescue with a recipe that’s even easier to prepare. Yes, the Pizza Express Pollo Pesto pasta recipe requested by thousands is now in the public domain.
‘We were asked for this recipe a total of 42 million times (just kidding, but it was a lot) – so here it is in all its creamy pesto glory,’ Pizza Express quips on its website. ‘The delicious, one and only, Pollo Pesto. You’re welcome.’
The beauty of the dish (delicious finished product aside, of course), is that it only requires a handful of ingredients, most of which you probably already have in stock. Pizza Express says this makes one generous portion, but with 150g pasta, we reckon you could stretch it to two – especially withits famous dough balls on the side.
So without further ado, here’s how to enjoy your beloved pollo pesto pasta even when Pizza Express’s doors are closed. Enjoy!
Pizza Express Pollo Pasta recipe
FOR THE SAUCE
250ml whole milk
1/2 white onion
25g plain flour
FOR THE PASTA
50g basil & pine kernel pesto
40g cup mushrooms
28g red onion
70g cooked chicken
150g penne pasta (or any other pasta you have)
10g Gran Milano (or any Italian hard cheese)
1 leaf basil
1. Heat the milk with the onion until just boiling. Turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 20 mins
2. In another saucepan cook the pasta according to the package directions then drain well
3. Melt the butter in another saucepan, then add the flour. Stir continuously until a paste forms (you now have a roux)
4. Remove the onion from the milk and discard. Add the infused milk to the roux gradually, stirring as you go, until you get a smooth sauce. Cook for 5-10 mins, whisking continuously, until the sauce has thickened.
5. Preheat your oven to 180°C
6. Add the pesto into the béchamel and mix well.
7. Add the mushrooms, onion, torn cooked chicken and pasta. Mix well and place in an oven-proof dish.
8. Top with torn or grated mozzarella and 1/2 the grated Parmesan cheese
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pasta is hot all the way through and the cheese has melted
10. Spoon into a bowl and top with the remaining Parmesan cheese and a basil leaf