Saturday, August 10, 2013
Something From Nothing - Again
I love to grocery shop, and I wanted to go again today. But NO! I had to resist! I have so much food in the refrigerator that buying more food would be simply - well - it would be stupid. So I searched around the refrigerator to see what was in there. 3 small zucchinis that were going to be compost in another three or four days. Several pieces of chicken tenders I made the other night breaded with Panko and Parmesan cheese. (Oh, they were so good!) I also had a small bunch of tomatoes from the garden (small Romas and Cherry) that I hadn't used yet. The rest of the ingredients are things I always have on hand. Whenever I have veggies that need to be used up I usually think of Pasta Primavera.
So I assembled all the ingredients on the chopping board and then put them together to make this delicious pasta dish.
Before I go on with the recipe, I want to share something else. The pan I used to cook the Pasta Primavera veggies is an enameled cast iron Casserole Skillet. I have been wanting an enameled cast iron pan FOREVER! But they are expensive and I would absolutely NOT buy one for more than $200!!! Then I found one on line for $40. I wasn't sure what I'd be getting. But when my Bon Appetite Casserole Pan arrived (free shipping!) I was - well - I'll admit it! I was elated! I use it all the time. If you don't have one, and you like to cook, I'd recommend owning one. The even heat distribution and the ability to cook on very low heat and still keep the heat going is unsurpassed! Anyway, here's the recipe.
PASTA PRIMAVERA WITH CHICKEN TENDERS
3 small zucchini quartered, seeded and sliced.
10 or 12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 or 2 cloves of garlic (to taste) minced as finely as possible
2 Breaded Chicken Tenders (cooked) sliced into 1/4 inch slices (if you don't have any left over breaded chicken tenders, just add two sliced chicken tenders.
1 1/2 cup of uncooked penne pasta, cooked until just about done.
1/4 c. white wine
1/4 c. chick stock
1/2 - 3/4 c marinara (use your favorite sauce - I used some I made myself)
1 T. dried basil leaves, crushed, or about 12 fresh basil leaves chopped finely.
1/2 c. or more of grated Parmesan (I used low fat grated, but feel free to use whatever you like)
Fresh ground black pepper and/or crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
You shouldn't need any salt (except in the pasta cooking water). The wine, chicken stock and Parmesan Cheese should be enough.
Add as much ground black pepper or red pepper flakes as you like, or don't add any. I didn't add any tonight even though I love spicy food. It was very satisfying and delicious!
Cook the pasta in salted water until it's not quite done. While the water boils and the pasta is cooking .....
Slice the zucchini. Quarter them lengthwise and remove the seeds and slice into 1/4 inch pieces. Slice the small tomatoes in half. Mince the garlic. Arrange this all on your cutting board.
Now over medium heat add about 3 T of olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven. When the oil is glistening with heat, add the garlic and stir for a minute or two, careful not to burn.
Drop in all the sliced zucchini, the sliced chicken and the basil. Stir for 2 or 3 minutes. Now add the tomatoes and the white whine and the chicken stock and marinara (or your favorite sauce). Stir to get everything warmed through.
Now drop in the drained almost cooked pasta. Add the grated Parmesan Cheese and stir well.
Taste and make any adjustments in seasoning that seem good to you. More salt, spice, cheese, more marinara? Make it to your liking!
Serve with a glass of red wine. Better than most dishes you'll pay $25.00 for in a restaurant!