Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Garlic Chicken Pasta with Prosciutto

I know, I know. You're probably impressed by the name of this tasty dish. But please don't judge this meal by its title. It really is simple (especially with a helpful hubby) and tastes like something you would eat at an expensive Italian restaurant. This recipe is adapted from The Junior League of Houston's Cookbook, Peacemeals, which has amazing recipes and ideas. Enjoy!

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
10 to 12 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
4 ounces prosciutto, cut into small pieces (I had my local grocery store cut a couple of slices for me in the deli)
1 tablespoon butter
12 ounces farfalle pasta
1/2 cup fresh basil chiffonade, plus additional for topping
*to "chiffonade", just roll basil like a fruit roll up and cut into strips.
1/2 cup prepared fire-roasted red bell peppers, cut into thin strips (I left this out as we currently don't have a grill convenient to roast bell peppers)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano- reggiano cheese, plus additional
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and add to the skiller. Saute until lightly browned on one side and then turn. Add the garlic and continue cooking until the garlic is soft and golden, being caregoul not to burn, and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the tomatioes, prosciutto and butter; saute for about 5 minutes more. While the chicken is cookin, bring a large pot of water to a boil; cook the pasta ccording to package directions for al dente. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and cut into bite-sized pieces. Return the chicken to the skillet, stir in the basil and saute until the basil is wilted. Drain the pasta and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the chicken-tomato mixture, roasted peppers, cheese and red pepper; toss gently to combine. Top with additional basil and cheese, and serve immediately.

Tips for perfectly cooked pasta
1. Do not rinse cooked pasta; the little bit of starch that is left at the end will add body to the sauce. Instead immediatly toss the hot pasta with sauce to let it soak up the flavor. I have also heard that rinsing cleanses the pasta of what nutrients it contains.


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