Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pasta from the Pantry with Mediterranean Flare

Some days you just want to make a dish that is completely easy to throw together but doesn’t skimp on the flavor. I’m also trying to make a dent in my freezer and pantry. So with all this in mind I came up with a tangy pasta dish that not only hit the foodie spot but also helped me use up some of my staple pantry items. It combines the bright Mediterranean flavors of artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, herbs and lemon, with the creamy, tangy bite of goat cheese all melty and delicious over hearty whole wheat pasta and grilled lemon and herb chicken. Truth be told you could skip the pasta all together and serve the chunky sauce right over the chicken in a slightly more figure friendly rendition, but I find it physically impossible to skip pasta when provided the option, so I’ll just let you all go down that road on your own. This dish is a serious keeper so clean out your pantry while you eat and enjoy!

Mediterranean Chicken Pasta
A Girl and Her Kitchen

1 lb whole wheat or whole grain Rotini pasta (Barilla makes a good whole grain pasta line)
½ c pasta cooking liquid reserved
1 large shallot, diced
3 garlic gloves, minced
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 bag artichoke hearts, thawed (can find these at trader joes)
¾ c sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, sliced (reserve 2 tbsp of oil from jar)
1 lemon, juiced
½ c dry white wine (e.g., chardonnay)
1 3/4 c chicken broth (low sodium)
½ c parmesan
6 oz goat cheese (can sub marscapone)
½ cu bread crumbs
¾ c frozen peas
½ c parsley, chopped
½ c basil, chopped
Salt and pepper
Pecorino cheese for garnish (can sub parmesan)

Chicken Marinade:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 large lemons juiced
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp dry white wine (e.g., chardonnay)
1/2 tsp salt

Whisk together the marinade ingredients. Pour over chicken breasts and seal in an airtight container. Refrigerate for at least an hour, though may also leave over night.
 When ready, grill the chicken (5-6 minutes each side) until cooked through. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting into 1 inch cubes.
In a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. While pasta is cooking, heat the reserved oil from the sun dried tomatoes over medium heat. Sauté the shallot for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, artichoke, sun dried tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté another 3-4 minutes.

Add the broth, lemon juice and wine. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a low boil. Cook at a low boil for 6-8 minutes to reduce the liquid by 1/3. Add the peas, diced chicken, and cheeses and stir to melt and combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
Reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid, drain the pasta and add to the mixture and stir well to combine so that the sauce coats evenly. Stir in the parsley, basil and bread crumbs. Taste for seasoning. If too think, add the pasta cooking liquid a tablespoon at a time to get the desired consistency.
Serve warm with pecorino and additional parsley as garnish.

Note: This dish is completely fabulous cold as well. Leftovers are fantastic! You might also cut the amount of pasta in half and have a chunkier dish all together.

No comments:

Post a Comment