Who doesn't love pasta?!
Hi everyone!!! Welcome back and if you haven't visited before, then simply welcome.
So today I'm going to share a dish that I had made recently because sometimes I have a hankering for Italian. What's not to like about Italian food?! There is wonderful tomato sauce, garlic, pasta, and fresh herbs to tantalize those tastebuds.
Begin by adding water to a large pot and a dash of salt. The salt will help to bring your water up to boil faster, as boiling is caused by impurities in the water such as minerals (i.e. salt). Once it is boiling add some olive oil to the post to cover just about half of the top surface area. This reduces the boiling surface area so as your pasta cooks it will not boil over due to the starches.
Once it is boiling, drop in the entire bag of pasta. Yes the whole bag...go big or go home!
While the pasta is boiling you will start by cubing the chicken into bite size portions. Heat up some oil in a sautÃ© over a low heat. Add in the chicken and season with a light coating of salt and pepper.
As the chicken is cooking, dice up the garlic cloves and add to the chicken right away. Allow to cook for 5-7 minutes.
Now that your chicken has started to change in color, add in a pinch of the fresh basil (retaining some for garnish) and the oregano. cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Then add in the capers, please make sure that you do not add in the liquid from the capers or your dish may turn out too salty. Cook for another 5-7 minutes covered.
Typically I would love to make my own pasta sauce, but there are times when I just don't have time...so pasta sauce from a jar works well if you have the right kind. I went with Victoria Marinara Sauce that I found at Costco. Pour this in and allow to come up to a simmer. Once it is simmering, add in some freshly grated Parm! This will add some saltiness and thicken up the sauce some. Taste for salt and add some more if desired. Allow to simmer for 5 mins.
By this time you set your sauce to simmer the pasta should be ready. You do not want a soggy pasta so make sure it's slightly harder than al dente as this will continue to cook during the baking process. Strain the pasta and pour it into a large baking dish. Preheat the oven to 425â.
Typically I would add fresh squash for this, but from time to time I use some veggies which i have diced and frozen myself. I prefer to freeze my own veggies if I see that I have some fresh ones that have stayed in the fridge for 3-4 days and I do not yet plan to use them.
Add the frozen veggies to your pasta dish. Yes frozen! This will allow you to have firm veggies at the end of the baking process and will also add some liquids to the dish as it cooks. Pour the sauce over top and mix it through.
We are almost done. Top off the dish with freshly shredded Parm and slices of Mozzarella.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and set to back for 1/2 hour. After 1/2 an hour remove the foil and allow to back for another 15 minutes so that the cheese browns and creates a nice crispy, yet melty topping.
Allow the dish to sit for about 10 minutes before serving so that it cools. Serve with a copy of freshly grates Parm and fresh basil!
Here are some of the items you may want to use for this dish:
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