Sunday, February 1, 2009

light dinner

The sailor came back from deployment a bit tired, so I'm trying to make whole nourishing foods to help bring him back to feeling better. But I'm also so excited to have him home I didn't want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen!

So pasta is the dish when you don't want to spend a ton of time. Always.


I'm Italian and I think somehow the previous generations of women who cooked amazing Italian food deposited memories into my DNA and I'm naturally a good Italian cook. There are a few secrets though. Garlic, lots of garlic, never EVER garlic powder or garlic salt. Sun dried tomatoes in olive oil. Olive oil. Super fresh or frozen veggies. Fresh basil. Fresh mint. You get the idea. Fresh, good, real food. No imitation, no additives, nothing but real food.

True Italian food is clean and healthy. Americans have visions of Italian food dripping in marinara sauce with cheese from a green can sprinkled on top. Sure marinara sauce is a staple in Italy, but not at every meal! Not even on a weekly basis!

This dish isn't a 'true Italian" dish. You'll not find it in the Silver Spoon, which is the Italian cooking bible, and you won't find Mario Batali making it in his restaurants. But it is real, clean, fresh, and delightful. It has many variations, but probably no name.

*cooking note, you can substitute garbanzo beans for the chicken for a great twist! The garbanzo beans combined with the whole wheat pasta is a whole protein!

1 lb broccoli (fresh if in season, otherwise frozen is great)
2 carrots chunked or shredded
5 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 zucchini chunked or shredded
1 yellow squash chunked or shredded
1/4 jar sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil sliced in long strips
hand full of basil, chopped
Parmesan cheese to taste

2 chicken breasts or 2 cans garbanzo beans
1 lb farfarle pasta

simmer chicken until cooked through but still very tender. While this is simmering cook all other vegetables in olive oil until crisp tender. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook pasta until al dente. Mix all together and top with basil, tomatoes, and cheese to taste.



Tara said...

Yowza! That looks amazing! I'll have to try it, thanks :-)

Crunchy Christian Mom said...

Oh, this is my very favorite way to cook! Fresh from the garden all summer! I'm addicted to Giada deLaurentis. :)

Crunchy Christian Mom said...

Hey Erin! You won the giveaway! I just need your address now! :) Send it to thegps (at) yahoo. com