Friday, May 7, 2010

Recipe: Deconstructed Arugula Pesto Pasta with Chicken

Most delicious things are either accidents or acts of necessity, aren't they? I mean, I've heard that both Chicago deep-dish pizza and fried raviolis were mistakes. The lore behind nachos is that 2 women showed up after the kitchen was closed and the chef melted some cheese over leftover tortillas for them. The rest, as they say, is history!

This recipe started in much the same way. Well, if you can consider it a recipe; it's a lot of "throw in however much you have on hand." This is how it came about.

Once upon a time, my brother-in-law graduated from college and my husband's (very large) family attended it. Eventually, it was evening, we were all hungry and no one had thought to make a reservation (and in a small town on graduation night with a large party, a restaurant meal was out of the question). For some reason, pizza delivery was veto'd. Someone suggested we all eat at his apartment. Lovely idea! That way we could chat and linger as long as we wanted! Except, being a college male, he had exactly 2 pans: one small frying pan and one stock pot.

Pasta seemed like a quick, easy, and cheap way to feed a crowd (I think there were about 15 of us total). Except my father-in-law doesn't like tomato sauce. And my sister-in-law is lactose intolerant.

Enter this dish. No tomato sauce, the parm is on the side and you can cook the whole thing in one pot. Recently, I realized that it's basically all the ingredients of my arugula pesto, just kept separate. The husband and I tend to make this often when arugula (or even baby spinach) is in season since it's so easy and healthy.

2 lbs pasta (this is for a crowd!)
2 c chicken stock
1 whole rotisserie chicken, shredded (or leftover grilled chicken chopped or poached chicken shredded)
6 oz arugula
4 Tbsp diced sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
1/2 c pine nuts, toasted
Salt & pepper

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain & set aside.
2. In pot used to cook pasta, put in stock & warm up. Add chicken if using cold leftovers as well.
3. When stock/chicken are warmed through, turn off heat and add arugula, sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts (and chicken if not already added). Season liberally with salt & pepper. Top with Parm.

1 comment:

  1. I am loving the idea of the arugula pesto. It seems such a versatile recipe.