Thursday, March 29, 2012
Garlicky Chicken and Arugula Pasta
14.5 ozs diced tomatoes
1/2 orange or yellow bell pepper
2 chicken breast filets (appx 1 lb.)
1/3 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup red wine
1 tbsp balsamic
3 ozs baby arugula (or 1 bunch "adult" arugula)
10-12 ozs short pasta, I used medium shells
2 tbsp olive oil
possible add-ins: olives, cannellini beans
Get some water boiling for the pasta. Meawhile, spray some oil in a large skillet, then heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken breast, cook until it begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Flip over, brown the other side.Sprinkle the garlic around the pan, cook about 2 more minutes, then add the wine and bell pepper. Bring the heat up so that it's a good steady simmer, and reduce the wine by 1/2, about 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, stirring gently to combine. Let it begin to boil, then reduce the heat to keep it going at a gentle simmer. This is a good time to add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and begin cooking it according to package directions.
After the tomatoes have been simmering for about 5 minutes, add the arugula, stirring gently to combine. You might need to cook some down a bit before adding more. Cover the skillet during this portion so that the arugula begins to wilt.
The chicken takes about 15 minutes to cook. As the time approaches 15 minutes, take the chicken out and place on a cutting board. Cut crosswise into slices. Take a look to see if it is cooked through or if it needs a bit more cooking time (the slices above needed just a couple more minutes)...add back in to finish if not quite done; or if it is cooked, add the chicken back in, reduce heat to very low, and cover until the pasta is ready.
When the pasta is done, drain it and toss with the remaining tbsp olive oil and then add the chicken mixture when it is ready. Add the cheese and any options ingredients you are adding.
Wine Pairing: A Primitivo from Puglia was the only Italian red I had on hand, and I tried that. It was a bit hot and heavy for this dish, I'm thinking a Barbera would be a better match next time.