Guest Author - Caitlin McLeod
Don’t you love hearty pasta dishes? They are so satisfying and fulfilling, as well as yummy!
This is another recipe inspired by a dish served in the deli of a local natural foods store, and is a good way to use up leftover chicken, cooked any way.
You can vary the recipe by using other soft cheeses, such as goat Brie, Gorgonzola or even Havarti. For larger quantities, simply multiply the ingredients by the number of people you are serving. This recipe makes about two generous servings.
Pasta with Chicken & Basil
Note: If you are concerned about eating wheat, there are now several gluten-free pastas on the market. Check out such brands as Ancient Harvest, Riso Bello, DeLallo, and Schar. It’s a little more expensive than regular pastas, but the price is worth it if you’re gluten intolerant.
1 portabella mushroom
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 sprigs basil (or other fresh herbs), rinsed, drained, and chopped
2 cups dry pasta (I used large shells; feel free to try any other shape)
1 cup cooked chicken, cut up
2-3 oz. Chevre (soft goat cheese)
S & P to taste
1) Bring a large pot of water to boil. It is not necessary to salt the water; indeed, it is good to reduce salt usage whenever possible, so save the salt for seasoning the completed dish. Add pasta and cook while preparing the topping.
2) Wipe the mushroom with a damp cloth, and remove the stem. Slice the mushroom into roughly ¼ “ slices, then again crosswise if the mushroom is large.
3) Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, sear the mushrooms, turning with a wooden spoon to brown on all sides.
4) When the mushrooms begin to release their juices, reduce the heat and stir in the garlic. Sauté until the garlic is just barely golden, being careful not to let it burn.
5) Blend in the goat cheese, stirring until smooth. Then add the chicken and most of the basil, saving a little out for garnish, then just heat through. Remove the pan from the heat.
6) When the pasta is al dente, drain it and add to the chicken mixture. Stir to combine, season with salt and pepper, garnish with some basil sprinkles and serve hot. A nice salad or steamed green vegetable would make a good accompaniment. Enjoy!