Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Artichoke Hearts

Serves 50

Pesto:
6 cups fresh basil leaves, packed, plus extra for garnish
1 ½ cups grated Parmesan
1 cup pine nuts or walnuts
9 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ cups olive oil 

20 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast tenders
½ cup olive oil
4 lbs. penne pasta
30 cups artichoke hearts (2 #10 cans), drained, rinsed, and finely diced
Salt and pepper to taste

Place basil, parmesan, nuts, and garlic in food processor and pulse, adding olive oil in a thin stream, until desired consistency. Working in batches, saute chicken breast tenders in olive oil until golden brown and cooked through. Keep chicken warm covered in a 200-degree preheated oven.

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

Toss artichoke hearts, chicken, pesto, and pasta together, season with salt and pepper, and serve. Garnish with fresh basil.

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