Monday, August 10, 2009

Something Italian...ish

I'm really bad at keeping up with things. This blog is an obvious example. Lame, I know. So to apologize to any regular readers or checker-uppers on my blog, I give you: ....something Italian. I don't know what the heck to call it. I'll have to think about it and come back to edit the title later when I have been given Divine Foodie Inspiration.

Anywaaaaaaay...this is what happens when the fridge contents get low, I didn't get to Market this weekend, and I celebrated last night by doing a jig because I found an extra pack of 2 chicken legs and thighs in the freezer, hiding very sneakily under a rather large ice pack from the chiropractor. Sigh.

On a side note, I had an interesting "debate" (well, a 50-some comment-long debate on a link post a friend put up on her facebook page) this weekend about organic vs. nonorganic foods and whether organic is nutritionally superior to conventionally grown items. This got me brainstorming of other "food musings" that I need to blog my blog subtitle so boldly proclaims, yet I have done none...more sighing. So check back for more posts, interspersed between other recipe posts, regarding my thoughts on foodie things and different brands that I enjoy and why.

Okay, back to recipe. By now you know I blabber on.


2 chicken legs and thighs, cooked off and torn apart into small pieces (do whatever you like - poach/boil or bake off - whatever is easier for you. I baked.)
1/2 box of spaghetti or other long pasta that you prefer
3 small tomatoes, finely chopped (eh I keep the seeds in. No biggie.)
2 smallish zucchini, in thin ribbons (use a veggie peeler to go down the length of it so you get long, thin slices. Stack them and cut in half lengthwise.)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced (sweet onion will work okay too, just use a walnut-sized wedge and mince)
olive oil and butter to saute (eh...1 tblsp of butter and I guess 3 times around pan with the EVOO - gotta have enough, you're lubing a half box of pasta.)
fresh-ground pepper
Italian seasoning (use liberally. whatever strikes your fancy. at least 1 tsp.)
1/2-1 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (again, however cheesy you like it)
splash or 2 of heavy cream (optional - I like it though, makes a cohesive sauce)
2 heaping tblsp. of tomato paste
ladle full of pasta water

If you have any fresh herbs, like oregano, basil, or marjoram, feel free to substitute for the dried; you'll need to use more fresh than you would dried. Also, since you're using pasta water in the pan sauce, time the start of your saute with cooking the pasta; they will be done around the same time.

Directions: Make sure you use a large, deep saute pan. ***

Cook pasta according to box directions. While pasta is cooking, add oil and butter to saute pan on medium heat. When pan is coated, add shallot, garlic, herbs, chicken, zucchini and tomato, and saute for about 5-6 minutes, or until tender (do not brown anything). Stir in a ladle-full of pasta water and the tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste, and if desired the cream. Add pasta straight from the boiling water (shake off some of the water) and parm cheese, and toss to heat and coat for another 1-2 minutes to incorporate everything and distribute throughout the dish. Serve immediately, in a big pasta bowl, and if desired sprinkle the top with some more cheese. Voila! Enjoy.

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