Creamy Pesto Pasta

1/2 c. Prepared pesto
1 c. heavy cream
1 lb. penne pasta
1/4 c. pinenuts, toasted
grilled chicken (optional)
vegetables of choice (sundried tomatoes, halved grape tomatoes, steamed asparagus, julienned red peppers, artichoke hearts, etc.)
Fresh parmesan cheese, shredded
Kosher salt

Boil salted water and cook pasta until al dente.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine pesto and cream (adding more or less cream, depending on how you prefer your sauce). Bring to a simmer. Add any vegetables that need to be heated through and softened (peppers, artichokes, etc.) However, if you are adding asparagus, be sure to steam it first.

Toast pine nuts in a small frying pan until fragrant and lightly browned.

Drain pasta and add sauce, chicken, vegetables, pine nuts, shredded parmesan, and a generous sprinkling of kosher salt (this is an ABSOLUTE MUST (especially if you're using homemade pesto)-- It will dramatically enhance the flavors of your sauce). Gently stir until combined and serve with additional parmesan.

Recipe from {Cooking ala Mode}