Thursday, June 30, 2011

Classico Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

There are many things I love about summer, and no I am not talking about the Texas heat! What I am talking about are the wide array of fresh vegetables that are in season during the summer months. Many of these vegetables are my favorites and I crave them year round and purchase them at the grocery store whenever they are available. While I may be able to enjoy fresh spinach, bell peppers and tomatoes year round, their flavor is unparalleled when they are enjoyed in their proper season.

I love pasta that includes fresh vegetables, a little oil and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and no sauce. This is especially true with in this pasta dish. The bell peppers and spinach really shine while the cheese adds just a touch of creaminess to round out the palette. Next time you're craving a nice bowl of pasta this summer, you should give this recipe a try, I think you'll find it to taste like summer.

Classico Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup sliced shallots
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
2 cups raw spinach, thinly sliced
1/4 cup basil, chiffonade
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 pound angel hair pasta
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, sliced
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Salt and pepper the chicken breast halves and place in the oil.
Cook until the chicken is browned, about 3 minutes each side.
Place in a prepared baking dish and cook in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare the shallots, bell peppers and spinach and set aside.

Pour the chicken broth and water into a large pot and bring to a boil.

Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions, I cooked mine for 5 minutes for al dente.
Drain and reserve some of the pasta liquid.
While the pasta is cooking, heat 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and add the pine nuts.
 Cook until golden brown and set aside.
In the same skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the bell peppers and shallots for about 3 minutes.
 Add the spinach and basil and cook until wilted.
 Add the sun dried tomatoes and cook for another 3 minutes.
 Remove from the heat and add the chopped chicken, pasta and Parmesan cheese to the skillet.
Toss and mix well until the cheese is melted and incorporated in the pasta. Top with additional Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
 Source: Neiman Marcus Pure and Simple Cookbook

1 comment:

  1. Mmm looks delicious! And all the vibrant colors from the fresh veggies is so appealing. The garden in the back yard has become one of my best friends this summer :)!