Hi, Readers! Lovely to meet you, I'm Christine and I write for the blog Girl Versus Kitchen. Mommy Mandy and I go way back to a simpler time, when our biggest concerns mainly included weekend dances, midterms, and prom. Nowadays? Suffice it to say I really could go for a weekend dance in a high school gym right about now…
I live in a spacious, albeit 1980s-era 1 bedroom apartment in Central NJ with my two cats, Mr. T and Lu, and my wonderful boyfriend E is usually here also. I adore cooking - a love I inherited from my dad and which E appreciates tremendously - but, while my kitchen is a large eat-in with plenty of hideous, ancient, easily-staining Formica countertop space, old, handle-less cabinets and the world’s worst, probably antique electric range, I really can’t stand it. However, as the future kitchen of my dreams (dual oven, six-burner gas range, wet bar, sparkly granite, prep sink, built-in grill, stainless everything.. drool..) remains in my future (and HGTV), I do the best I can with what I have. It’s always me versus the kitchen.
I was torn between what to share here, because I want to stay aligned with what Mommy Mandy would like to eat herself! So, I’ll share with you a favorite one-pan dish of mine that makes for a relatively easy weeknight meal. If you prepare the protein in advance, it only takes about 20-30 minutes to prepare.
The below recipe calls for chicken, but I often substitute in hot and sweet turkey or chicken sausage for a little extra kick of flavor!
Pasta Primavera with Chicken
• Three large or four small chicken breasts, seasoned to taste, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces (tip: leftover roast chicken is great for this recipe!)
• 2 cups uncooked pasta (I use whole wheat)(a hearty noodle such as bow-tie or rotini is best)
• ¼ cup olive oil
• 3 cloves garlic, diced
• ½ small white onion, diced
• 2 small zucchini, chopped
• 2 small yellow squash, chopped
• 1 small orange (or any color) bell pepper, chopped
• 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes (I use Hunt's Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic & Oregano)
• 10 leaves fresh basil, or 1 tbsp dried basil
• 2 tsp (sodium-free) chicken bouillon
• ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
• ½ cup Parmesan cheese
• ¼ cup Romano cheese (optional)
1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, but take off one to two minutes off the total cook time. Pasta will be a not quite al-dente. Strain and set aside. (Or do alongside step 2 if you’re a good multitasker!)
2. Heat olive oil in a large pan or wok at medium heat. (Make sure it’s large because you’re adding everything in there!) Add garlic and onion, and stir frequently until translucent and that gorgeous aroma fills your kitchen. Then add zucchini, yellow squash, and bell pepper; cook for about 6-8 minutes, tossing occasionally, til vegetables are tender.
3. Add can of diced tomatoes (including the liquid – do not drain), basil, chicken bouillon, and crushed red pepper. Continue cooking for another 6-8 minutes.
4. Add chicken and pasta to the veggies and toss together using two large mixing spoons. Stir in your cheeses. Continue cooking on range, stirring occasionally, for another 4-6 minutes, til everything is heated through. Spoon into bowls and enjoy!
Serve with a sprinkle of cheese on top, and a piece of warm Italian garlic bread. Serves 4-6. Makes good leftovers!
I hope you like this recipe – it’s a crowd-pleaser and I often make it when we have company. Everyone always loves it and goes back for more. Please check out my blog as well – I’m in the process of redesigning it and will include some other Mandy-approved (I’m sure) recipes this month including:
• Barbeque Chicken Bites in mini phyllo-dough shells (savory, satisfying, and the PERFECT game-day snack!)
• Warm Honey Chex-Mix Blend (popcorn and a secret ingredient are the keys – and a perfect movie-muncher!)
• Some easy Sunday Morning Breakfast recipes! Because one can only have scrambled eggs so often.
Enjoy, and happy eating! Thanks so much, Mommy Mandy, for letting me guest-post!