Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chicken & Bowtie Pasta with Broccolini

Back in the day, in my early twenties, I spent a lot of time as a server at Romano's Macaroni Grill.  There was a 2 week schedule that went out, and on it I was scheduled to work 14 doubles.  That's a lunch shift and dinner shift everyday for 2 weeks straight.  I was saving up money to visit my honey at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. 

One of the best dishes at the time was called Farfalle con Pollo al Sugo Bianco.  I think it translates into Bowtie Pasta with Chicken and White Sauce.  This is not the recipe for that dish.  I think that dish may have 70 grams of fat in it.  I may be wrong!  But this is a close replica of the nostalgic dish that reminds me of so many great memories and great friends from back in the day. 
I wanted to add something green to the dish, just because I'm trying to eat healthy.  I used broccolini, which is also labled as baby broccoli in some stores.  At the Kroger Marketplace by my house, that's what they called it.
This dish is wonderfully flavored in several delicious layers.  Prosciutto, red onions, and green onions serve as the base to give the dish umami.  The Mac Grill dish used grilled chicken breast strips, but I use diced skinless, boneless chicken thighs because it's what I prefer as far as flavor and cost goes.  Also in a comparison of saturated fats between organic, free - range chicken versus regular chicken, the organic version had 1 gram less and didn't cost that much more.
Then I used mascarpone cheese, another staple from the Romano's Macaroni Grill days.  The restaurant uses it in their tiramisu, but you can also use the cheese in savory dishes as well.  You can find the cheese in the specialty cheese department.  I loved the turnout!

Ingredients:
  •  1 cup of dry farfalle, (bowtie pasta) prepared per package directions, al dente
  • 1 pound of organic boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced in chunks
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup of diced prosciutto
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 1 bunch baby broccoli or broccolini
  • 1 small can of sliced mushrooms, drained
  • crushed red pepper flakes, optional
Directions:
  1. Heat 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat.  When hot, add the red and green onions with the prosciutto.  Stir.
  2. Add the chicken and stir the mixture 4 - 5 minutes.  Add the white wine, stir for 2 minutes, then cover the pan with a lid for 3 minutes.
  3. Cut the stems of the broccolini into small bite - sized pieces.  Leave the heads whole. 
  4. Add broccolini to the pan, then add the mushrooms and mascarpone cheese.  Stir the mixture to coat everything with the cheese. 
  5. Serve garnished with red pepper flakes and grated asiago cheese.

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