At school there is a nut free policy so I simply omit the pine nuts and the pesto still has a great flavour. The mascarpone cheese means that the pesto is not so intense making it more palatable for younger children.
25g toasted pine nuts
40g or a large handful basil leaves
25g grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
85g mascarpone cheese
4 slices Parma ham or prosciutto
175g baby tomatoes, on the vine
salt and ground black pepper
basil leaves to serve
In a small food processor, whizz together the pine nuts, basil, Parmesan, garlic clove and 3 tbsp olive oil. (cover any leftovers with a layer of oil and it will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days).
Use a small sharp knife to make a slit along the side of each chicken breast to form a pocket. Mix together the pesto and mascarpone, then carefully spoon a quarter of the mixture into each chicken breast and smooth over the opening to seal.Wrap each stuffed chicken breast in a slice of Parma ham and arrange in a shallow baking dish along with the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and season with black pepper. Cook at 200◦C for 20-25min or until the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with some basil leaves and serve with freshly cooked pasta or crusty bread to soak up the juices.