Friday, January 23, 2009

Creamy Bell Pepper Pasta

This recipe came about as a result of a pasta craving and having a few peppers that were just about to go off. Throw in some chicken and a green salad and you've got a complete meal and a Phase 2 friendly meal at that!

Creamy Bell Pepper Pasta
serves 2

2 bell peppers (I used a red and an orange)
1 clove garlic - minced
1 small onion - chopped
3 or more Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp plain yogurt
1/4 cup chicken stock or water (you won't like need it all)
1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 box whole wheat farfalle (or whichever pasta shape you like)
Salt & Pepper
Parmigiano Reggiano - optional

1. Preheat oven to 425F. Wash, seed and devein the peppers and cut into a 1-2 inch dice. Wash chicken breasts and trim of any excess fat.
2. Cover 1/2 of a baking sheet with aluminum foil, turning the edges up to make a makeshift container. Spread the bell peppers on the aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat. On the other side of the baking sheet place the chicken breasts, again drizzling with olive oil, salt & pepper.
3. Roast Chicken and peppers for approximately 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the peppers have some nice browned bits. While the chicken is roasting heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium to medium low heat and slowly saute the garlic and onions until the onions are golden brown, being careful not to brown the garlic.
4. Boil water and cook pasta according to directions. When the peppers and chicken are done roasting remove from oven. Add peppers to sauce pan with onions and garlic and remove from heat. Remove chicken to a plate and shred using 2 forks.
5. Using an immersion blender blend the vegetables and yogurt in the sauce pan, adding chicken stock or water 1 Tbsp at a time, as necessary. I wanted a thick and creamy sauce, so I only used 1-2 Tbsp of stock. Add the oregano and a touch more salt and pepper, mix to combine. Add chicken and pasta to pepper sauce tossing to combine. Serve garnished with Parmigiano Reggiano shavings and lots of fresh cracked black pepper.

This was another easy weeknight meal. It took about 40 minutes but is something that could easily be modified for a seriously quick meal if you used a roasted chicken from the grocery store and jarred roasted peppers. It was quite tasty and a twist on a traditional pasta and red sauce. The boy got a really tasty Parmigiano from a new cheese shop here in Toronto called Chabichou. I didn't get to make the trip with him but am dying to get in there to taste some of their cheese and sample their grilled cheese which is supposed to be phenomenal. I really enjoyed munching on the Parmigiano on it while I cooked and also topping my pasta with it. If you don't have access to a great Parmigiano, I'd suggest topping this with a nice crumbled feta. It's got a really nice Greek flavor with the roasted peppers and oregano and I think a feta would also work nicely. Enjoy!

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