It was one of those nights when I wanted something good and comforting...something creamy...something delicious...and something that would help me clean out my fridge. Here was my solution...
One of my favorite things to order when eating out are those fancy pasta dishes that incorporate a lot of meats and veggies and, of course, a deliciously creamy sauce. Not exactly healthy, I know. But who says they have to be loaded with fat and dairy and cream and all that is delicious? Who says they can't be low fat and healthy (but still delicious)? Not me!
In making this pasta, I really did clean out my refrigerator. So if it sounds good to you, I encourage you to do the same. Don't worry about buying the plethora of ingredients shown in the picture below. Well...pasta is essential...and probably some meat and veggies...but you decide what meats, what veggies, and what spices. This is a very liberating dish!
The first thing I did was get the water started for the pasta. You want that cooking as you go along. You also want to go ahead and get your veggies prepared. I chopped up some yellow squash, tomato, and turkey pepperoni that I had sitting in my fridge. For you, it may be broccoli and onion...or cauliflower...or foie gras (although I don't recommend that last one...gross!). But whatever suits your fancy, get it ready.
I decided that I wanted this to be a primarily chicken pasta dish. So I sprinkled some chicken with salt and pepper and cooked it in a teaspoon of olive oil.
Once the chicken was done, I removed it and put it on a plate. Then, I threw the squash, some minced garlic, peppers (I used frozen ones), the pepperoni, and even about a tablespoon of bacon bits into the skillet and sauteed them in the leftover oil for a few minutes.
After a few minutes, I added my chopped tomatoes, a half cup of white wine, a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of fresh parsley, and a tablespoon of basil.
And then came the part of the recipe that earns the word crazy. I added two teaspoons of McCormick steak seasoning.
This stuff is amazing...really! I use it all the time. And the funniest thing is, I only use it when making pasta. Have I ever used it to season steak? No! But honestly, it really is delicious...such a lovely combination of salt and pepper and who knows what else.
Once the wine had boiled down, I threw in the chicken and added another 1/4 cup of wine. I just love adding wine to pasta dishes. It adds such a nice flavor to the veggies and helps them get to a nice state of crisp-tender. I kept this cooking until the wine had almost vanished. By now, my veggies were perfect, my chicken was nice and warm, and the flavors had hung out a bit together.
And now for my favorite part - the creaminess! I mixed a quarter cup of flour with 2 cups of almond milk. You can mix it with whatever kind of milk (or cream!) you want.
Stir your flour/milk concoction really well, and then toss it in with your veggies and meat. Mix well and bring to a boil for about a minute or so until it's thickened up a bit.
And then, for the final touch, add your cooked pasta! At this point, you should also steal a taste and adjust the seasonings if you feel necessary. Maybe add a sprinkling of thyme...or nutmeg...or cayenne, if you are feeling dangerous.
Is your mouth watering yet?
Crazy Creamy Bowties
NOTE: I'm writing the recipe as I made it. But like I said, experiment!
8 oz. bowtie pasta
2 chicken breasts
1 t. olive oil
1 t. minced garlic
2 yellow squash, chopped
1/4 cup sliced turkey pepperoni
1 T. bacon bits
1/2 cup bell pepper, sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 t. salt
1 t. fresh minced parsley
1 T. basil
2 t. McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 1/2 cups white wine
2 cups milk (or milk substitute)
1/4 cup flour
Cook pasta; drain.
While pasta is cooking, cut two chicken breasts into pieces, salt and pepper them, and cook in 1 t. olive oil. After chicken is cooked through, remove to plate.
Add garlic, squash, turkey pepperoni, bell pepper, and bacon bits to skillet. Saute for a few minutes, and then add diced tomatoes, seasonings, and 1 cup wine. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. After wine is reduced, add the cooked chicken and another 1/2 cup of wine. Cook until reduced.
Mix 2 cups milk with 1/4 cup flour; stir into vegetables. Bring to a boil for one minute, or until thickened. Add cooked pasta. Serves 6.
Nutrition (calculated with light soy milk): 341 cal, 5g fat, 1g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 84mg cholesterol, 875mg sodium, 34g carbs, 2g fiber, 5g sugar, 30g protein, 14% vit. A, 44% vit. C, 15% calcium, 20% iron
This post is linked to Foodie Friday!