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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Everything but the kitchen sink pasta primavera

I wish I had a picture to post tonight, but we didn't waste any time before eating, it was that good. If I rated my recipes here, I'd definitely give this one 5 stars! Filling, healthy, colorful and delicious. All the things a good meal needs.

This recipe was born out of a necessity to use up some produce and chicken and because I needed something quick that I could throw together. Plus, I love making pasta. I've listed the veggies I used, but what I love about pasta primavera is that you use whatever you have on hand or like.

So, instead of laying this out in a recipe format, I'll just let you know what I did as I went along, because that's pretty much how I made this baby up.

What I used:
1 lb. penne (Barilla, yellow box; healthier version)
1 chicken breast
olive oil
2 slices thick cut bacon, diced up
white wine
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

A handful of the following (don't need too much of any):
onion (sliced)
orange bell pepper (sliced)
carrots (sliced)
zucchini (sliced)
broccoli florets
sundried tomatoes
2 roma tomatoes (diced and seeds removed)
fresh torn basil

parmesan cheese, grated
pana granada cheese (trader joe's)

Get the pasta cooking, according to package directions. I cooked the whole box, eventhough I didn't use all of the pasta in this dish.

I marinated my chicken breast for all of 10 minutes in some Greek salad dressing. Had to use it up. After that, I grilled it. While it was grilling, in the largest Le Cruset skillet I have (this baby's big!) I heated about a tbsp olive oil and fried the diced bacon until slightly crispy. I transferred the bacon to a paper towel lined plate, dumped the bacon grease, and used about 1/2 to 1 cup of white wine to deglaze the pan. Let that simmer a bit to reduce, then add about 2 tbsp of butter. Once melted, I tossed in the onion, garlic and carrots. I let those cook for a couple of minutes, then added the bell peppers, zucchini, broccoli, tomatoes and basil. I also added a little more olive oil to keep things moist. While the veggies cooked, I added several different seasonings I had on hand ( Italian among others). About this time the chicken was done so I removed it from the grill, let it sit a few minutes, then sliced it up and tossed it together with the veggies. Add in the bacon at this point as well. Season with sea salt, pepper and anything else you feel like. Toss in the cooked penne, top with the cheeses and dive in! Goes great with a good glass of red.
And don't skip out on the bacon...I think it makes this dish!

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