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Al Dente

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My love affair for pasta began long before I could say spaghetti, far before fettuccine and carbs ever occurred in the same thought process, and well before wheat pasta became all the craze. Yes, pasta and I go back to humble beginnings, where miniature stars called pastina were fed to me by my Grandmother as my first solid food.

I write this blog as I savor a bowl of spaghetti ragati with vodka sauce, no protein, just noodles… see!

I often get faced with dinners alone where I have to contemplate the century old question, “What shall I make for dinner”. And of course, rain or shine, 90 degrees or 30 below, pasta always seems to hit the right note. Maybe it’s the comforting nature of an easy to make and relatively quick hot dinner that gets me, or maybe it’s the evenings of watching my mom pluck a strand of pasta from our huge boiling pot and bite it to see if it was deserving of some sauce…. Or perhaps butter and parm?

Whatever the case may be, pasta, like a big hug, defines comfort and comfort food for me. It is happiness and it is home, no matter where I am in this crazy world.

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Chicken and Red Pepper Pappardelle

Ingredients:

  • 2 large chicken breasts- skin on, bone in
  • 1 package of pappardelle pasta
  • 1 jar of roasted red peppers
  • 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce (though home-made is always tastier)
  • 1tsp Red chili flakes
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.

Place the 2 chicken breasts (bone-in, skin-on) on rimmed baking sheet. Rub the tops with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes or until cooked through. (Internal temperature should be 170-175 degrees). Set baking sheet aside on rack to cool. Once chicken is cool enough to handle, pull meat from bones and skin, keeping just the meat. Cover, and set aside.
Next boil a large pot of water that you have liberally sprinkled with water. The goal here is to have the pasta water taste like the ocean… this will be your only chance to flavor the pasta.
As the water begins to boils, dump the entire jar of tomato sauce into a warm skillet and the tsp of red pepper flakes,  and begin to warm over low heat. Next, remove 2 large roasted red peppers from their juices and chop into small pieces. Add those pieces as well as the chicken  into the sauce and stir.
By now the water should be getting close to a boil. Once there, add your pasta and cook until al dente. This should take about 10 minutes. Once cooked, quickly transfer the pasta into the skillet of sauce and peppers and combine. After cooking together over medium heat for 2 minutes or so, transfer to a plate and serve with a healthy topping of Parmesan cheese… and no, any cheese coming from a green container that you don’t need to refrigerate is not cheese is my opinion.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments below! Bon appetitio!

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One response »

  1. Yay! This looks so delicious! I love your story about how pasta reminds you of home, I feel the same way. 🙂 Thanks! Xo

    Reply

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