Chicken and Beetroot 'Pesto’ Pasta Recipe

The sweet and earthy flavours of roasted beetroot make a refreshing and delicious change in this chicken pesto pasta dish. A handful of crumbled goat’s cheese and grated Parmesan add a welcome creaminess to this tagliatelle dish that the whole family will love.
Serves 4 - 5 mins to prepare and 1 hr to cook - 571 calories / serving

450g (14 1/2 oz) beetroot, peeled and cut into wedges
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 garlic cloves
4 tbsp olive oil
3 chicken breasts
1 lemon, juiced
250g (8 3/4oz) tagliatelle
20g (3/4oz) walnuts, toasted or roasted
20g (3/4oz) Parmesan, finely grated
1/2 x 30g pack fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus a little extra to serve
hard goat's cheese, crumbled, to serve

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Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Put the beetroot wedges onto a 30cm square of tin foil, along with the fennel seeds, garlic and 1 tbsp of the oil. Season, then fold up into a parcel and seal. Put on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 45 mins, or until tender. 

Meanwhile, wrap the chicken in another 30cm square of foil with the lemon juice and 1 tbsp oil. Cook in the oven for the last 25 mins of the beetroot’s cooking time, or until cooked through with no pink meat showing. Remove the parcels and leave to cool slightly. Unwrap the chicken and slice, reserving the cooking juices.
Cook the tagliatelle in pan of boiling water following the pack instructions. Meanwhile, squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins and put in a food processor, along with half the roasted beetroot, the walnuts, Parmesan, parsley and remaining oil. Add 2 1⁄2-3 tbsp water and blitz to a purée. Season.
Drain the tagliatelle, then toss with the remaining roasted beetroot, goat’s cheese, sliced chicken and a little of the chicken cooking juices. Spoon onto plates and drizzle over the beetroot pesto. Sprinkle over the extra parsley, as required.
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