Sunday, April 15, 2012

Something a little different

Hi!  You usually find me talking about my quilts or my dog, Hazel, or Hazel on my quilts.  I have some good recipes to share, too. 

I love cooking great tasting food, but living alone means I either need to cook and clean (not fun) daily, or find or create recipes that are easy to reheat.  I've developed a few.  Most times, I love a meal that's fast and tasty, but occasionally do make something that takes time to prepare.  Today's recipe for Pasta Carbonaro with Chicken is pretty fast.  If you have the ingredients and the bacon is precooked, it's done in about 20 minutes. 

This will make enough for 3 or 4 servings, and can easily be expanded for more.  My family loved it the last time I made it for them. 

Pasta Carbonaro with Chicken

2 boneless chicken breast portions, cut into about 1 inch cubes
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
dried parsley, basil and thyme to taste

Saute the diced chicken in a large skillet with the olive oil, garlic and herbs.  I allow it to brown a little.  I love my Pampered Chef tongs to help make sure I get all the sides cooked (and for turning bacon!). 

As that's cooking, boil water for your favorite pasta.  My choice today was Whole Wheat ziti style.  I've used tri-colored rolotini and linguini.  I do think angle hair is too thin for this.  I used 1/2 pound of pasta.  When the pasta is about 1/2 done, add 3/4 to 1 Cup frozen peas.  I found BJ's carries a really nice organic bag of frozen peas.  Green Giant and Birds Eye are good, too, but I bought the store brand (trying to save) and they were horrible.  The good ones have a nice sweet flavor, and add to the color and nutrition of this yummy meal. 

As the chicken and pasta/peas are cooking. put the following in a small saucepan, and cook over medium heat.
1/4 cup butter
1/2 to 3/4 cup cream (light cream works well, as does heavy, but half and half is too salty to my taste)
3/4 cup Locatelli brand grated romano cheese (you can use half romano and half parmesan)
2 to 3 slices bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
fresh ground pepper to taste.

Bring the cheese and cream mixture to a boil and stir constantly until it thickens. 

In a large pasta bowl or covered Corning dish, combine drained pasta and peas, chicken and sauce. Toss well and serve with your favorite salad and crusty bread.  You can sprinkle additional parmesan or romano cheese. 

To reheat, add a splash of milk and reheat (covered with plastic wrap) in the microwave for about 3 minutes. 

A hint about bacon:  I use it in a few of my recipes, so here's how I cook it for one person.
I buy it at Sam's Club or BJ's.  It's usually 3 packages in a box, and I freeze it.  I slice one frozen bacon, right through the plastic, with a sharp knife about half way, then break it in half.  Basically, you have just cut the long strips in half.  I just push down against the edge of my counter and it breaks the rest of the way.  I thaw (usually microwave) the 1/2 pound, and return the other half (in a zipper freezer bag) to the freezer.  Then I cook the bacon (my favorite way is traditional, in a fry pan on stove top).  I place the cooked, drained bacon in a zipper bag and refrigerate until I need it.  Quiche, bacon cheese burgers and more are so easy!  For the burgers, I just reheat it while the burger is cooking.  I may crumble a bit over a salad, too.  For a recipe, just remember you have half slices, so when I say 2 to 3 slices, I pick 4 to 6 from the bag.  Easy!!!


Unknown said...

We love Carbonara, DD used to make it for us, but I have never made it. I'll have to give yours a try! Good idea for the bacon too. It is so expensive and I use so little, mostly for seasoning in certain dishes, I hate when it is sitting in the frig going bad on me. I'll try splitting and freezing it, that makes sense.

SewCalGal said...

Yumm. I'm not a great cook, but this sounds like a recipe I could do. I look forward to trying it. Thanks for sharing.