Friday, January 19, 2007

Penne with Chicken, Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

Today’s weather has been the appropriate backdrop for a Friday ending a weak handshake week: snain that melted our snow into mush. And then it all froze into icy slush around dinner time, and is now being dusted with fine flurries. It is slippery and treacherous and very persuasive for staying in.

It’s the end of the week, and there isn’t a lot of food in the house. So I cobbled this together with leftover ingredients from other dishes and snacks this week. That’s the nice thing about pasta- it can go with almost anything.

I actually started with an idea of making a Silver Spoon Chicken and Mushroom dish I was fond of last winter. I never actually made it according to the recipe (fresh mushrooms for dried, water for white wine, etc.), but, you know, I followed the idea. Which is basically to sauté them, and make a white wine and tomato sauce. I actually had a bit of leftover white wine, extra mushrooms from yet another mis-weighing episode at the market, plus some goat cheese and extra basil from the Basil Chicken Tony made earlier in the week. I’m quite enjoying the goat cheese- it’s so creamy and flavourful. For a soft cheese, it seems to have a long fridge life. It melts nicely on warm pasta and gives the sauce a rich pungent flavour, and makes the sauce thick. It doesn’t feel as decadent as a cream sauce.

And I like eating something made from goats. I like goats. They have nice ears and are interested in everything.

So this turned out pretty good, and I feel like an awesome home maker for turning out something reasonably nutritious and tasty that used up stray food. This is about what I did.

Chicken & Mushrooms in a Tomato and White Wine Sauce
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 chicken breast, cut into bite-size chunks
3 C fresh mushrooms, quartered (or bite size)
About ¼ C tomato sauce or mashed chunky tomatoes
5 Tbsp dry white wine
4 Tbsp water
Fresh ground pepper (about 1 tsp)
Leaves from 1 bunch of basil
About 3 Tbsp goat cheese, crumbled

1. In a sauté pan, sauté the chicken in the olive oil. Remove.
2. Add the mushrooms and sauté until their juices start toflow.
3. Add the chicken back to the pan.
4. Add the white wine, and 1 Tbsp of tomatoes/sauce and cook until slightly reduced
5. Add the rest of the tomato sauce and water, and ground pepper to taste.
6. Cook until the sauce is slightly thickened. If it becomes too thick, add a tablespoon of water.
7. Prepare penne or other pasta.
8. Add basil leaves at the end, and allow them to wilt.
9. Toss the chicken and mushroom mixture and goat cheese with the pasta until the cheese melts and the pasta is coated in sauce. And enjoy.

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