June 13: Sacred Month of Hestia

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Throw a dinner party.  For a intimate group or a crowd.  Okay, ignore my crazy bad phone photography (plus, I was so darn hungry to devour this….I couldn’t wait).  I am completely in love with this pasta dish:

Ingredients

Pasta sauce ingredients:
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 3.5 oz sun-dried tomatoes, diced
    • 2 cubes chicken bullion (use Vegetarian “Chicken” Bouillon for vegetarian version)
    • 2 cups boiling water
    • 1/2 cup half and half (may need to add another 1/2 cup)
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
    • 1 tablespoon dried basil (or up to 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil)
    • 1/2 pound fettuccine pasta
Chicken ingredients:
    • 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
    • salt and pepper
    • Cajun spice, just a pinch, OPTIONAL
    • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
To serve:
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions

To prepare pasta sauce:
  1. Heat olive oil on medium-high heat, add sliced mushrooms and garlic – and cook the vegetables for about 3 minutes. Add diced sun-dried tomatoes. Reduce heat.
  2. Dissolve 2 cubes of chicken bullion in 2 cups of boiling water. Carefully add the broth to the skillet – continue to cook the vegetables in a chicken broth on medium heat until the mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes absorb some of the broth and the broth reduces somewhat. Add half and half, heavy cream and bring to boil just for a short moment. Add Parmesan cheese and cook the sauce, stirring, for a couple of minutes, on low-medium heat until the cheese melts. Add the basil.
  3. If your sauce is too thick at this point – add another 1/2 cup half and half. If your sauce looks thin to you – do not continue simmering the sauce to thicken it as you will be adding pasta shortly (in the next step) – and pasta will absorb some of the sauce liquid. Even if the sauce looks thin now, it will not be so thin once you add pasta.
  4. Cook fettuccine al dente according to the package instruction. Drain and rinse in cold water (this will stop the cooking). Add the fettuccine into the sauce and continue cooking the sauce with the pasta in it, on medium heat, for a couple of minutes (or more – to achieve the desired thickness) stirring constantly to coat well.
  5. Note: do not add salt to the creamy sauce because it should already be salty enough from the dissolved chicken cubes. Only in the very end when the sauce is done, you may add some salt if needed.
  6. To make chicken:
  7. Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness. if you don’t have the right equipment to pound a chicken, wrap the chicken breast in plastic, and use a heavy pan to pound it until you reach the desired thickness. Don’t overdo it. While this step is desirable to achieve even cooking, you can also skip it (but I totally recommend doing it).

Serve this with a good green salad and fresh, crusty bread.

Blessings from the Hearth.

 

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