This recipe originally appeared at Let's Eat Grandpa on September 02, 2014. If you've never visited the fabulous Cori, I highly recommend you scooch your behind over there right after you're done pinning and bookmarking this recipe. Why, you ask? Well. She's funny, and smart, and she can sew. You will not find sewing things here. I do not possess that skill as of yet. I firmly believe that all dogs can learn new tricks, and so can foodies who may or may not be almost forty – so I may just learn one of these days. Back to Cori. She's got a background in graphic design, and let me tell you – that talent makes for some absolutely beautiful projects. You also may remember that I posted yesterday about a cool giveaway that I'm co-hosting to celebrate her eight year blogging anniversary (if you haven't entered yet, you totally should). The giveaway is Oct 1-6, 2014 and is for a $250 gift card for Pottery Barn (but is good at several other stores, too! Cori is awesome. I'm awesome. Everything is awesome.
Recipe: Easy Chicken Parmesan Pasta with Basil
It's widely known I rarely take shortcuts when cooking. Why? I'm a masochist. Duh. I don't judge anyone who does do shortcuts – I don't even think about it, truth be told. I just REALLY love cooking, and spending hours on the details fills my soul with happy. Most of the time. Other times – mama's got a life and a lot of kids to handle. This recipe was born from the fires of one of those times. Enjoy the simplistic ease of this dish – comes together quickly, very little effort on your part, and rewards you with a subtle flavor punch of fresh herbs and parmesan. I honestly believe there are ingredients in the kitchen you can skimp on, and ones you should ALWAYS spend the extra money for quality, because it really can make a huge difference. Cheese is one of those things that I strongly urge you to spend a little more. Cheaper cheeses tend to be fattier & more bland tasting – and by using them you're essentially adding fat & calories with very small taste bud-dy rewards – why would you do that? Get a REALLY great parmesan for this recipe – it pays off!
1 Rotisserie Chicken (available in most grocery store deli areas)
2 Sweet Yellow Mini Peppers, diced
2 Sweet Red Mini Peppers, diced
1 lb Angel Hair Pasta, cooked to preferred doneness
6 Fresh Basil leaves, sliced thin
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, separated
1 tsp Sea Salt, additional to taste
Shredded or Flaked Parmesan, to taste
Cool rotisserie chicken until you can handle it with your bare hands (not to be confused with bear hands, because those would just make a mess). Remove skin and dice meat into bite-size cubes. Start water boiling for pasta, adding 1 tsp sea salt & 2 tbsp olive oil to water. During the boiling process is the only opportunity you really have to season pasta, and salt helps bring out the natural flavors. In a separate pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over med heat, then add diced peppers & garlic. Saute, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes – be careful not to scorch the garlic. Add chicken cubes and continue cooking until chicken is heated through. Yes I sure did just make you cool it off and heat it back up again. I like to leave the chicken cubes in the pan until they get a little golden crisp on their edges, but that is a personal preference. Drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Gently stir in the vegetable mixture until well combined. Plate and serve sprinkled with thinly sliced basil leaves. Here's how you get them: lay your leaves out on the cutting board, stacking them on top of one another from biggest on bottom to smallest on top. On the LONG side of the leaves, start tightly rolling toward the other side, creating sort of a basil burrito – wrap it tight! Then simply cut thin slices, working your way down the basil roll. Use fingers to shake them up a bit and voila! Thin basil slices. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt & parmesan to taste – and enjoy! This whole meal takes about 20 minutes from prep to eat, but tastes like you slaved for much longer. The ingredients (except pasta) can also be prepped ahead of time, so you'd really only have to cook the pasta and heat the remaining ingredients before tossing together. I hope your family loves it as much as mine!