Wednesday, May 19, 2010
A Pasta Dish... in the MICROWAVE!!!
Yes, you read correctly! A pasta meal that you can prepare in the microwave!!
Start to finish this will take you barely 20 minutes... And it is SO worth the time!
Also, like most of my recipes, this is one of those completely customizable recipes. I really prefer recipes that are more or less a palette for creativity: everyone has different tastes, diets, food styles, whatever you want to say... It is fantastic to be able to add your personality to a meal!
So anyway, you probably want to know what exactly it is that I have made in the microwave... It is a pasta dish with tomatoes, basil, and lots of other delicious stuff. I cooked some chicken breasts (cut into 3 inch strips, or if you are like me and like to buy the frozen bags of chicken breasts already cut into tenders, use that) in a skillet on top of the stove to go on top of the pasta. I marinated the chicken in wine, italian dressing, and a splash of lemon juice. Then I dumped the chicken and the marinade in the skillet with a few drizzles of olive oil and cooked until nice and goldeny brown and cooked all the way through.
While I was cooking the chicken, I dumped a container of grape tomatoes into a casserole dish that has a cover for it (trust me, you need a cover to keep it from splattering everywhere), and added two baby spoon scoops (ummm maybe 1-2 tsp?) of minced garlic, and microwaved for 4 minutes, stirring halfway through...
(after they have popped open)
Once all the tomatoes have "popped" open, you are ready to smoosh them with a mashed potatoes masher, and then add 2-3 cups of uncooked pasta, like rotini, shells, penne, or bowties, 2 cups of chicken broth, and 1 cup of wine.
(I used rotini)
A good rule of thumb is to add the same amount of broth that you added of pasta. I had a weird amount of pasta (since I usually make mine fresh and rarely use dried), so I just measured out my pasta, dumped it in, then measured out the broth to the same amount, and poured it on top. Add freshly ground sea salt and pepper on top, then cover and microwave for 10 minutes. Stir well, then microwave for 5 more minutes.
Stir in 1/4 c grated parmesan cheese (the kind in a can), and 1/4 c shredded parmesan cheese (if you don't have it, just leave it out), and a bunch of chopped basil leaves. Top with chicken, garnish with basil and freshly shredded parmesan and serve.
Okay so I am sure you are thinking "wow this is so simple"... Yes, it is! But you can easily dress it up to go with any meal theme or ingredients that you have...
Some ingredients you could add:
Crisp crumbled bacon
Roasted red pepper
Sun dried tomatoes
Leeks (you knew that one was coming!)
I am sure there are many more ideas: surprise me with a few!!!!