Tuesday, September 18, 2007

One-Skillet Pasta

Copyright 2007 by Cooking With The Single Guy

1 chicken breast (about 3 oz.), cut into chunks
1 can of whole peeled tomatoes (14.5 oz.)
1 can of chicken broth (14 oz.)
1 zucchini, diced
¼ cup kalamata olives
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
1 white corn, kernels removed from cobb
¼ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
6 oz. penne pasta
salt and pepper
2 T extra virgin olive oil

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Warm oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and then add garlic. Saute for a few seconds and then add chicken to brown all sides, about 2 minutes for each side.

Add broth and tomatoes to the skillet and reduce heat to a rolling simmer. (That’s like a hearty bubbling but not boiling.) Add pasta and stir occasionally. Cook for as long as it takes to cook the pasta according to the box (usually about 11 to 13 minutes for penne).

Half way through the cooking of the pasta, add the zucchini, olives, corn and basil. You can also add some seasoning now, such as salt, pepper or even dried oregano.

When pasta is done, remove from heat and add cheese and blend well. Plate and garnish with basil leaves or grate more cheese on top.

Makes 2 servings. Serve with garlic bread.

Pair with a glass of Chianti Classico.

TIP: You can use any pasta you like, but penne, rigatoni or other similar ones are preferable. Spaghetti doesn’t cook as long and may not allow your other ingredients to cook by the time the pasta is ready.


Seth said...

The Spanish dish Fideos uses this same method. In that you saute the pasta (they use super thin spaghettini) first and brown it a little. What this really does is coat the pasta with a thin layer of oil. That keeps starch from leaching out of the noodles, preventing the sauce from getting gummy. Like you say, the sturdier the dried pasta, the less overcooked it gets. I've tried it with tomatoey things like puttanesca, and very inauthentic spicey noodle bowls.

Very inauthentic, but very quick. Even with rigatoni, it's done in 20 minutes, and you can chop things when the noodles start to simmer. Just add the ingredients in order of cooking time.

Chef Ben said...

Mmm, slightly browned pasta sounds good! I might try that technique soon.