Saturday, April 19, 2014

Pasta in a Pinch

We have all had those days when you feel you are on a treadmill set on fast, and before your know it, dinner is around the corner. You are so pinched for time you may be tempted to eat out but you know that it won't be as healthy as eating at home nor will it be any more convenient.  If you have children you know that eating out isn't exactly relaxing and stress-free.  These types of nights are perfect for pasta in a pinch.  Now you could open a jar of sauce and boil pasta and call it done.  But for a little more effort, you can really up the nutritional value and flavor.
Several nights ago, we made my easy, fail safe roasted chicken.  I talked about what an asset it was to always have roasted chicken on hand in the fridge. Well, tonight we are putting that leftover chicken to use. 
Get your pot of water boiling.  Don't forget to salt your water.  Your pasta will come out much better because of it.  While your are waiting for the water to boil,  dice some cooking onions and mushrooms. Lightly saute them in  olive oil and sea salt until slightly caramelized in the pan. Then toss in some chicken, after you hand pulled it into bite sized pieces.  Add minced garlic and a teaspoon of butter.  Mix together and reduce the heat to low-medium. 

Onions and mushrooms

Add in a cup of fresh diced tomatoes and a 1/4 cup of chopped sun-dried tomatoes.  Mix well.  

You would not believe how good this smells.

Cover and reduce the heat to low, while the pasta is cooking.


Drain pasta, do not rinse.
Once pasta is cooked, toss with some of the chicken mixture and sprinkle with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Now, that required a few more steps than opening a jar but wasn't it worth it?  You probably would have paid $13-$17/plate for this at a restaurant and it would have been made with lesser quality ingredients.  Aside from having to do dishes, you will be glad you stayed home. 

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