Adventures in Eating: Penne Pasta with Chicken & Mushrooms

When I was a little girl, “pasta” meant spaghetti doused with taste­less bright red tomato sauce and sprinkled with some-kind-of-awful, artificial-tasting parmesan cheese. “Pasta” really wasn’t high on my list of childhood favorites.

Years later, friends would rave about this fusilli or that pené, and I would simply tune them out. When I finally came to my senses and decided to stretch my taste-buds, I was quite surprised. Pasta had certainly come a long way.

A myriad of wonderful import­ed Italian products now fill the shelves: sun-dried tomatoes, roast­ed peppers, dried wild mushrooms and outrageous olives. Olive oils have also become the rage. One practically needs a degree in oils to figure out the difference between all the varieties! There’s also an abundance of fresh herbs like ba­sil, Italian parsley and sorrel.

With the availability of all these fine products, I have become a pasta “groupie” and am constantly testing out new favorites. This month I have created an exquisite pasta dish that I am quite proud of.

For best taste choose a good brand of pasta imported from Italy. Cook it until just al dente, which means “firm to the bite” in Italian. For maximum flavor, indulge yourself to a wedge of fresh parmesan cheese for grating right before serving. Buon Apetito! 

Penné Pasta with Chicken and Mushrooms

2 whole chicken breasts, boned, skinned and cut into small bite-sized pieces

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

12 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons sweet butter

3/4 cup green olives, chopped

16 oz. Penné pasta

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt to taste

Sauté chicken and garlic in ol­ive oil until just cooked, adding salt to taste. Remove chicken to a platter and cover with foil. In re­maining oil left in pan sauté mush­rooms until soft, about 5 minutes. Add wine and deglaze pan. Sim­mer until reduced to about 2 table­spoons. Add chicken broth and simmer until thick and reduced to about 1/3 cup. Add butter and stir until smooth. Add reserved chick­en and olives and cover to keep warm. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and toss with sauce. Serve immediately with grated Parmesan cheese.

Be Sociable, Share!


So empty here ... leave a comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.