The Novice: Sherri Shepherd
She grew up in Chicago in a family of foodies, but Sherri Shepherd didn't get the cooking gene. "A lot of people say it's cathartic to cook, and I'm like, 'How is it cathartic washing all these dishes?' " jokes The View personality, 43, who also hosts The Newlywed Game. But lately Shepherd-who has diabetes-is trying to abandon microwave meals and takeout dinners and make healthier fare for her 5-year-old son Jeffrey. "I burn a lot of stuff," she admits. "My son, bless his heart, eats it anyway. But he makes a face!" For now simple pasta dishes and oatmeal with mashed bananas are her staples. When her 10-hour days leave little time to cook, "I bring leftovers home from The View and tell Jeffrey I cooked it." As for cozy dining in her Manhattan brownstone with fiance Lamar Sally, 40, a TV writer, "It will be catered, but I have my apron on and go, 'I made it,' " she says. "It works!"
CHICKEN PESTO PASTA
2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 (8-oz.) package spaghetti
2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Process basil, pine nuts, oil and garlic in food processor or blender until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
3. Combine spaghetti, basil mixture and chicken in a large bowl. Toss gently. Salt and pepper to taste.
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