Pasta with Chicken, Vegetables, Olive Oil and Garlic
Parmesan cheese (lots)
3 medium carrots
2 small zucchini
2 small yellow squash
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
4 oz mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil for sauteing, 3-4 tablespoons for dressing the pasta
1/2 an onion, chopped
2 – 4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 lb cooked, drained bow tie pasta
One Rotisserie Chicken, carved off the bone, cut into pieces that match your pasta shape.
- Cook pasta according to directions on the package for al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Cut carrots and zucchini on the diagonal into thin slices about 1/4 inch thick.
- Heat 1 T olive oil (preferably extra virgin) in a frying pan. Saute the carrots and squashes for several minutes on each side until golden brown and caramelized.
- Add the onion, red pepper, mushrooms and garlic. Saute for several minutes until the onions are translucent. Add more olive oil if necessary to prevent sticking.
- Toss chicken into the pan and stir until the chicken is warmed through.
- Add pasta to the vegetable chicken mixture and stir to mix well. Add remaining olive oil.
- Sprinkle with fresh basil and grated Parmesan. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Top each serving with more shredded Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
It was hard figuring out how this dish started. When the kids were little time was always limited, especially around dinner time when they needed to eat RIGHT NOW. One night there was leftover spaghetti in the fridge. It got tossed with some sautéed onion and garlic, topped with cheese and served. Not only did the pasta get eaten, but the kids requested the dish again. We had discovered a fast meal without resorting to fast food.
Over the years this simple meal evolved. More vegetables got added. The browning of the squashes came later, spurred by a memory of a dish eaten in some Italian restaurant a long time ago. Chicken was added to make the dish more substantial and to take advantage of the cooked birds that every market started to prepare and sell.
TIPS – use a good quality extra virgin olive oil. Add crushed red pepper in Step 4 if you want some zing. You’ll need a nice loaf of bread and a salad to complete the meal. Either red or white wine will work but if you choose red, get a lighter bodied Italian red like Bardolino.