Mar 18, 2008

My Take on Parmesan Pasta with Chicken and Rosemary

So this is recipe #2 from this months Real Simple. The original recipe is here. I made a lot of changes, but this was my "inspiration", if you can call it that. It was an okay dish, very light - good for a warm night. I'll keep this one around for a quick, simple dinner.

James said he liked it, but he says he likes everything I make...I don't know if I can trust his opinion anymore. ;)
12 ounces (3 cups) orecchiette pasta (I used 1/2 box Gemelli pasta - I couldn't find orecchiette.)
1 3 1/2- to 4-pound rotisserie chicken (I roasted 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts.)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and pepper
1 cup frozen peas
3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

For the white sauce:
I made a simple white sauce. This was just amde up as I went along - it is SO not exact.
2 tbsp. butter melted over med. low heat
Add 2 tbsp. flour to the butter and cook for a minute or so.
I salt and pepper at this point.
Add about 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 cup white wine, 1/4 chicken stock.
Bring up to a boil. I added a pinch of dried rosemary, a small, small clove of garlic that I pressed in a garlic press and about 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan. I let it simmer for 5-8 minutes and then removed it from the heat. It was a nice addition to the pasta dish.

For the main dish:
1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
2. Shred the chicken, using a fork or your fingers, while the pasta cooks.
3. Discard the skin and bones.
4. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 1/4 cups of the water.
5. Return the pasta to the pot.
6. Add the reserved pasta water, chicken, rosemary, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the pot.
7. Stir over medium-low heat until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes.
8. Divide among individual bowls and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

Tip: Using water reserved from the pasta pot is a classic cook's trick. Starchy and salted, it makes a light, flavorful sauce when tossed with cheese and herbs. It's also great for thinning pestos and marinaras.

Yield: Makes 4 servings


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