Sunday, September 23, 2007

Recipe: Chicken pasta and marinated zucchini

We had some remaining GF penne and fusilli made from brown rice. When I went to the FM this morning, I thought of the dish and bought a bunch of basil and some zucchinis(or courgettes if you're from NZ or the EU).

I had a massive headache when I woke up this morning and it didn't go away all day, so I had to resort to using a jar of Marinara sauce that I had in case of an emergency. I'll make the fresh sauce from scratch the next time.

This will feed at least 5-6 people. I made all of this so I could take it for lunch with me when I work on the other side of town.

Chicken pasta-

What you'll need:

-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I prefer buying bone in, skin on and doing the prep work myself, but J is afraid of any non-firm texture in the meat that I may leave. Cut into small cubes.

-1 large zucchini, chopped.
-half of an onion, diced.
-3 cloves of garlic, diced.
-1 bunch of basil, chiffonade the basil to use in the sauce as well as a garnish on top of the pasta when serving.
-2 tomatoes, diced.
-1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-salt and pepper to taste
-(optional) oregano
-(optional) parmesano reggiano
-1 bag GF pasta

Do all of your prep work and get the zucchini, onion, garlic and half of the basil ready before the chicken. Cut your chicken up and then make sure to wash everything very well under hot water to make sure cross-contamination doesn't occur.

Start heating up your pasta water in a large pot and season the water with salt. When the water starts boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Remove from water and drain.

Heat up a large saucepan with med-high heat with the olive oil and put the chicken in. Once the chicken is cooked on one side, flip it over and then add the zucchini, onion and garlic. Wait to put the basil in. Cook ingredients in the pot until the zucchini start to get a bit tender. The onions should be starting to brown a bit at this point. Put your tomatoes in and the liquid from them will be released into the pot, slightly steaming everything inside. If there are any brown bits at this point, scrape them off of the bottom and mix everything around.

Add your sauce. Canned, jarred, homemade(preferred), whatever.

Turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add basil after turning off the burner and stir to incorporate. During the simmering, chiffonade more basil to add on top as garnish when serving.

Plate pasta and then add sauce on top. If you have a large bowl that's laying around, put some pasta and sauce in there and incorporate before plating.



Don't combine the pasta with the sauce and refrigerate overnight. Keep them separate. That goes for any kind of pasta. The pasta will absorb the moisture in the sauce and when you eat it again, the pasta will be mush.

Not good.

Marinated zucchini(this is a take on a recipe that was created by Gordon Ramsay):

-1 zucchini
-olive oil
-salt
-baking sheet

With a peeler or mandolin, cut super-thin strips of the zucchini. Get a baking sheet or a large, flat tupperware and drizzle some oil and salt. Lay the strips down. If you have more than what can fit on one layer, repeat seasoning process and add more strips. J actually made a raw lasagna last year that was somewhat similar in the beginning stages. I then rolled the strips up and drizzled some balsamic vinegar on top.

Full version- You can stuff them (prior to rolling) with ricotta, pine nuts, lemon juice.



Serve with the chicken pasta or.....serve flat(not rolled) on top of the chicken pasta. It was very tasty like that as well.

-W

Both of these dishes were so good. The zucchini is even better this way then cooked zucchini, even with out the vinegar. It just has such a nice crisp.
-J

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