Just got back from Alix’ university graduation. We spent all of our time gorging ourselves on family and food. Of course when I got home the fridge was empty, Mack had to be picked up from the kennel, clothes needed to be washed, homework needed to be done, the house was hot and stuffy…needless to say, Mama was a bit high strung.
And then I had to make dinner.
Here is the perfect example as to why you should always have pasta in the freezer or pantry and Parmesan cheese in the fridge: Dinner is on the table pronto. Before I picked up Mack, I stopped at the store and picked up the Dinner Dilemma savior: a freshly cooked rotisserie chicken.
This is how I slammed it together in less than 30 minutes: I had GP grate the cheese, wash and cut the ends off the green beans and start the water boiling (he’s a great Sous Chef when he’s not mixing martinis). After I shredded the rotisserie chicken, I hunted for something to bring it all together. I could have used jarred pasta sauce, I know, but I wanted something different. Luckily I found half a jar of giardiniera.(Are you familiar with jarred giardiniera? It’s an amazing spicy mixture of hot peppers, bell peppers, olives, celery, pimentos, cauliflower and carrots marinated in vegetable or olive oil. Fresh giardiniera is traditionally prepared with the same vegetables, only it is pickled in red or white vinegar and served with antipasto or salads. I’m sure some of you view jarred giardiniera the same way I view canned tamales: Not at my Table, Bleh! But this is a great condiment and terrific on Brats!)
Continuing… then I quickly blanched the green beans in boiling salted water, shocked them and cut them in half. In the same water I used for the green beans, I cooked the pasta (in this case, squash ravioli). While the pasta was working, I sautéed the chicken, giardiniera and cut green beans together. I drained the pasta, and then portioned it out on the plates. I topped it with the chicken mixture and grated Parm. Dinner Dilemma solved.
Quick, easy and relatively painless…because sometimes it seems like Mama’s work is NEVER done.
Now, I’m off to fold laundry.
Pronto Chicken and Pasta you’ll need… let’s get to it… great substitution…
prep: 20 minutes
1 ½ cups fresh green beans
12 oz. uncooked pasta (or follow the serving size suggestons on the package)
6 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 cup Hot or Mild Giardiniera Condiment
1/4 cup reserved pasta water
6 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 140°F and warm a large serving bowl.
Boil 6 quarts of water in a large pot with 1 tsp. of salt, if desired.
Blanch washed and trimmed green beans in water for 2 minutes. Remove from water with tongs or strainer.
Add pasta to the same water and cook according to package directions; drain, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water.
Heat a large skilled on medium high; add shredded chicken, giardiniera and 1/4 cup reserved pasta water. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes or until heated through.
Pour pasta into warm serving bowl. Top with chicken mixture and parmesan cheese. Serve immediately
• Use whatever pasta you have on hand… frozen ravoli or tortellini work great!
• Use sundried tomatoes instead of the giardiniera if you don’t like peppers.
Pronto Chicken and Pasta
let’s get to it…