Step 1: Start with the Chicken
Start by preheating your oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas mark 7.
On a clean board, lay 2 slices of Serrano ham lengthways. Place a chicken breast horizontally across the middle and then wrap the ham around the chicken to securely enclose it.
Repeat this process with the remaining chicken breasts and ham slices. Place these wrapped chicken pieces on a baking tray lightly coated with oil, ensuring the seam side of the ham is facing down. Remember to wash your hands and equipment thoroughly after handling raw chicken.
Step 2: Do the Prep
Give the wrapped chicken a drizzle of oil and then roast them on the middle shelf of your preheated oven. Allow them to cook until they are no longer pink in the middle, which usually takes around 25-30 minutes. It’s crucial to ensure the chicken is fully cooked.
While the chicken is roasting, halve the tomatoes, and peel and grate the garlic (or use a garlic press).
Also, prepare a large saucepan of water, adding 1/2 tsp of salt, and bring it to a boil. This water will be used to cook the pasta.
Step 3: Add the Tomatoes
When there’s about 10 minutes left of the chicken’s roasting time, add the halved tomatoes to the same baking tray as the chicken. Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper.
Continue roasting for the remaining time until the tomatoes have softened, and the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Once both are done, remove the chicken from the oven, transfer it to a board, cover it, and let it rest for about 3-4 minutes.
Step 4: Cook the Tagliatelle
As the chicken rests, add the tagliatelle to the boiling water in the saucepan. Bring the water back to a boil and cook the tagliatelle until it’s tender, which usually takes about 3-4 minutes. Don’t forget to reserve some pasta water for the sauce before draining the pasta in a colander. Return the drained pasta to the pan, drizzle it with oil, and give it a stir to prevent sticking.
Step 5: Add the Pesto
In a medium frying pan, heat a drizzle of oil over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the grated garlic and stir-fry for about 1 minute. Then, pour in the pasta water you reserved earlier and add the chicken stock paste. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and then let it simmer until it’s reduced by half, which generally takes 4-5 minutes.
Lower the heat to low, and gradually add the pesto and butter (as specified in the pantry). Vigorously stir everything together until the butter has melted, and the sauce is well combined. Remove the pan from the heat.
Step 6: Finish and Serve
Taste the sauce and season it with salt, pepper, and lemon juice if needed. Add the cooked tagliatelle to the pan and toss it in the sauce until well coated.
After the chicken has rested, cut it widthways into slices that are about 2cm thick.
Now it’s time to plate up. Share the pesto-coated tagliatelle evenly between your serving plates. Top the pasta with the sliced chicken and the roasted tomatoes.
With everything ready, it’s time to indulge in your delicious meal. Enjoy!