Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pasta with Chicken, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Gorgonzola, and Pine Nuts

At my house, this is what we call "Vintage Smokey." It is, after all, the first meal that I cooked for my boyfriend after we met. And nearly 4 years later, it remains his single most frequent request.

It's another goodie from Epicurious. But at this point, I don't rely very heavily on the recipe. I know I add more of just about everything. More cheese. More prociutto. More sun-dried tomatoes. Who needs measuring cups, right? I just eye-ball it.

As for pasta, the recipe calls for shells or gnocchi, but really, you can use whatever you want. These pictures depict a version using orechiette, which in my opinion, is basically just a more sophisticated version of shells.

The only other change I make is to cut the chicken before I cook it. I am under the illusion that it shortens cooking time, though to be honest, I've never checked.

Pasta with Chicken, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Gorgonzola, and Pine Nuts
(adapted from Epicurious)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (2 tablespoons oil reserved)
  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 9 ounces total)
  • 1 pound gnocchi pasta or medium shell pasta
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3(-ish) cup canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/3(-ish) cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/4 to1/2 cup chopped prosciutto
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Heat 1 tablespoon oil reserved from tomatoes in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet and sauté until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate and cool; do not clean skillet.
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta; transfer to large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon tomato oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté until tender, about 1 minute. Add sun-dried tomatoes, chicken, basil, broth, cheese and prosciutto to skillet and bring to boil.

Add sauce to pasta and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with pine nuts and serve.

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