Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pasta Rustica

I'm behind on my menu planner due to Saturday working 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. and yesterday working 7:45 a.m. - 7 p.m. (early marketing meeting). Both nights I believe we just substituted frozen pizza.

Tonight I finally got to the Penne Rustica from Robin Miller's Food Network recipe. But, I didn't have penne on hand, and didn't feel like purchasing any just for this recipe when I have a bunch of spaghetti in the pantry. So pasta rustica it became.

Original recipe:
1 pound penne pasta
cooked chicken, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup jarred artichoke hearts, quartered
cooked zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup chooped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
3 roasted Roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup sliced pimento-stuffed green olives
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup grated parmesan
freshly ground black pepper

Cook penne according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in chicken and remaining ingredients.

I, of course, didn't have any of the stuff pre-cooked or cut up like I'd planned. Funny how that always works out, isn't it?

I started off a medium, deep sided skillet with a little splash of the Drew's Italian dressing - the one that is mainly olive oil. To this I added one HUGE cut up chicken breast. While that was cooking, I cut up half of a big zucchini and added it to the pan when the chicken was about 1/2 way done. I turned the heat to low, added a lid and let it sit.

Next, I cut a red pepper in half, gutted the seeds and membranes, rubbed them in olive oil and put them skin side up on a piece of foil, along with two small Roma tomatoes. I put these under the broiler for about 10 minutes to roast.

After putting a big pot of water on to boil, I cut up the remainder of items - artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, the olives and I also cut up 3 cloves of garlic. I added each of these to the skillet, still on low.

Once the red pepper and tomatoes were done roasting, I took them out and chunked them up, adding them to the pan about the same time I threw the pasta in the water.

Right before the pasta was done, I threw the fresh basil in the skillet and stirred it up. It was sooo colorful and aromatic. I couldn't wait to eat!!

After I drained the pasta, I rinsed it a bit under warm water. My dad hates this, but my mom has always done it because it rinses away a lot of the excess starch. I've noticed a huge difference in rinsing versus non-rinsing as far as starchy taste and clumping.

We plated up - mine with parmesan on top and Johnny's without. A couple of glasses of $3.99 white wine from Trader Joe's and we dove in. Delicious!!!

1 comment:

Nowheymama said...

This looks beautiful! I love artichoke hearts.