Mediterranean Pasta

This was another fantastic dish.  Judging by the ingredients I didn’t expect it to be as flavorful as it was.  While I am all for eating healthier, I will admit that at times I find the food to be a bit on the bland side.  There wasn’t much in this recipe that made me think it would be otherwise, and especially in regards to the sauce.  But somehow, when you put these simple things together, magic happens and as I said, there is an abundance of great flavor.  There is a nice not of heat from the chili flakes, plenty of freshness from the lemon and basil, and a great Mediterranean flavor blend from the garlic, artichokes, capers, and sundried tomatoes.  It’s just another added bonus that this dish is so healthy for you!

For the pasta, I suggest using something like Barilla Plus.  It has the health benefits of other whole wheat pastas, but resembles white pasta more closely in texture and appearance which makes it a bit more enjoyable.  I used regular spaghetti because it’s the size I had on hand, although the recipe calls for thin.  I really don’t think it matters.  For the artichokes I used marinated hearts from a jar, and I used sundried tomatoes packed in oil to save time.  I just squeeze as much oil off them as I can before cutting them up.

As you can see from the picture, this is also a beautiful dish with all the colors.  As you know, I am a firm believer in the enjoyment of foods based on not only how they taste, but also how they look!  This one was so good, and so simple I think I will be making it again soon!

 

Mediterranean Pasta

Makes : 4 servings

Ingredients :

  • 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken stock
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 tsp. flour
  • 8 oz. multigrain thin spaghetti
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. red chili flakes (I think I used about 1/3 tsp.)
  • 1 (9oz) pkg. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed (or canned)
  • 2 T. capers
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 2 T. grated parmesan cheese

Directions :

  1. Place the sundried tomatoes in a small bowl and soak them in warm water to soften them.  If using tomatoes packed in oil, you can skip this step. 
  2. To make the sauce, stir the chicken stock, lemon juice, zest and flour together in a bowl.  Set aside. 
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the spaghetti.  Cook according to package directions, until al dente.  Drain and reserve about ½ cup of the pasta water. 
  4. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large sauté pan or skillet over medium high heat.  Add the chicken and cook without moving it until it is browned on one side, about 3 minutes.  Turn the chicken over and cook on the other side until browned.  Remove the chicken and set aside in a bowl.
  5. Turn the heat down to medium and add the remaining teaspoon oil.  Add the garlic and chili flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir the sauce mixture and pour it into the pan.  Stir to pick up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Drain the sundried tomatoes and slice them.  Add them to the pan along with the artichokes, capers and chicken.  Simmer for a few minutes to allow the ingredients to heat up and the flavors to meld.  Add the pasta along with the basil and cheese.  Toss to combine all ingredients well.  Add some of the reserved pasta water as needed until the sauce reaches the desired consistency.  Garnish with fresh basil and serve.

Recipe from The Foodie Physician

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