Bruschetta Chicken Pasta

Italian food is a favorite in our home. Italian cuisine focuses on fresh, quality ingredients. The primary ingredients vary by region. Many classic Italian dishes only call for 4-8 ingredients making it a favorite for those who need to make dinner quickly.

It is a given that when I am making pasta, it will be served with a side of bruschetta. In an attempt to make dinner quickly after a long day at work, I decided to cut out the bread and combine the flavors of the bruschetta with the pasta. The result was a delicious, quick and easy dinner.

 

Here is my recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients:

3/4 cup finely chopped white onion

1 tablespoon  finely chopped garlic

2 tablespoons chopped basil

4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 cup heavy cream

5 oz or 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

8 oz or 1 cup mozzarella pearls

2 large chicken breasts cut into 8 smaller pieces

Salt and freshly ground pepper

bruchetta pasta Procedure:

1. Season chicken breasts with salt and paper. Cook until brown in olive oil. Set Aside.

2. In same pan, saute onions and garlic, until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes and chicken.Bruchetta chicken pasta3. Add in basil. Stir in heavy cream. Add mozzarella pearls.

4. Toss with your favorite pasta. See my previous post for easy, homemade linguine.

5. Enjoy 🙂

Bruchetta chicken pasta

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Homemade Pasta!

To most, making pasta at home probably sounds scary. I was  also skeptical that I could do this. But then, I tried and succeeded. Yes, we did take a class at Sur La Table, but it was more for the experience and a fun date night than anything else. After making fresh, delicious pasta ourselves, we find it hard to eat that stuff from the box (but do, especially after a busy work day).

Here is our recipe 🙂

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

4 large eggs

1 cup or so rice flour for dusting work surface and pasta machine

Procedure:

1. Place flour and salt in bowl and whisk to combine. Make a well in the center of the flour and add in eggs and olive oil.

2. Using your fingers, blend the eggs into the flour, stirring the flour in from side to side. When the dough is thoroughly mixed, turn over to a lightly floured surface. Knead dough until it is smooth and flexible. Wrap in plastic wrap and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes at room temperature.

3. To roll the dough, secure your pasta maker on the edge of a counter top. Cut pasta into three equal size pieces, using a bench scraper. Flatten one piece of dough into a rough square shape. Cover the two remaining with plastic wrap to prevent dry out.

4. Place the rollers on the widest setting, and roll the dough through the machine, catching it with one hand as you roll with the other. *It is helpful to have two sets of hands during this process.

5. Fold the dough over itself and roll through the machine again. Now roll the dough at a the next smallest setting. (I started on 8 and was on 7 at this step). Be sure to lightly dust the dough with rice flour to prevent it from sticking to the machine.

6. Continue rolling the dough through the next smallest setting until you get to setting number 1.

7. Run pasta thru desired attachment. Place cut noodles onto floured surface.

8. To cook pasta, heat large pot of water over high heat until boiling. Add a large pinch of kosher salt. Add pasta and stir, so the noodles do not stick to one another. Boil until pasta is al dente, about 3 minutes.

9.Top with your favorite sauce. See my next post for bruschetta chicken pasta recipe!

10. Enjoy 🙂

 

 

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LA Bistro copy cat recipe

If you live in Dearborn, Michigan you have probably been to LA Bistro at least once.. a week! They have many delicious dishes including “New Born Beef”, which I have recreated.

During the month of Ramadan (Muslim Holy month in which we fast from sunrise to sunset), I like to prepare the ingredients ahead of time. This way, I can cook right before Iftar (meal eating at sunset). Preparing the ingredients in such a manner is called, “Mise en Place”, French for putting in place.

It will look a little something like this: Mise en place

 

The recipe is as follows:

Makes 4 servings

For the Newborn Beef:

1 medium white onion chopped

8 oz button mushrooms chopped

2 tablespoons EVOO

1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used what I had on hand; Mexican blend. But cheddar would be great too)

1 green pepper chopped

1 pound beef chopped into 1 inch long strips (like you would cut for fajitas)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

salt and pepper

 

For the rice:

1 cup long grain whole wheat rice

2 cups water

1 tablespoon EVOO

2 threads of saffron

1 star anise

salt and pepper

 

Procedure:

1. Combine all ingredients for the rice and bring to a boil. Turn down to lowest heat setting and let cook for approximately 20 minutes.

2. Heat pan on medium heat and add EVOO and strips of beef. Add onion, mushroom, green pepper and spices. Cook through.

3. Remove from heat and top with shredded cheese.

4. Serve with salad and ranch. I will post my homemade ranch recipe soon!

5. Enjoy!

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