Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summer cooking

I love to cook and each season it seems, brings with it it's own pros and cons. Summer cooking means being able to cook with fresh locally grown produce, some of which have being tended to with our own fair hands. Is there anything better than eating a dinner filled with wonderful produce from our own gardens ?
One of the not so fun things about cooking in the Summer is a hot kitchen. I try to avoid long stays in the kitchen at all costs. I'm not one of these people that likes to run my air conditioning continuously on a hot day and so keeping my home as cool as possible without resorting to turning it on is key.
I love to grill and do that a lot but on days like today when the heat index hits 100 degrees, I really don't relish standing out in the heat over heat and I don't care to slave over a hot stove in the kitchen either, so unless it's salad for dinner, I try to find as many shortcuts as possible to making a warm, nutritious, tasty dinner with as little effort as possible and Cappellini Pomodoro is one of those meals that can be rustled up in no time and with very little cooking involved. I like to add chicken to mine and we eat a lot of chicken, so what I will do to cut down time in the kitchen is buy a package of fresh chicken breasts, season them and then grill them in the morning when it's not too hot, once they are fully cooked and have cooled down I cut them up, put them in freezer bags and toss in the freezer for days such as today.
Here is the recipe that I came up with after eating it at Olive Garden, I've added some extras to make it a little more to our liking.


Angel hair pasta

8 tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 green onions sliced
3 crushed garlic cloves
10 Fresh Basil leaves chopped (fresh is key, dried basil won't taste near as good)
6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Sliced chicken breast (optional)

Parmesan cheese

In a mixing bowl toss together the tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, cover and refrigerate. I like to let mine sit in the refrigerator for about 30 mins to really get the tastes intermingling together.

Meanwhile cook chicken if you haven't done so already.
Cook pasta.
Once pasta is added to the pot add tomato mix to a pan and heat through.
Drain pasta,spoon tomato sauce over the top, add sliced chicken and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

You can have this dinner on the table in 45 mins tops, having spent only minutes over a hot stove. If you precook the chicken before hand just heat it through in the microwave at the same time you are cooking the noodles and tomato sauce.

No comments:

Google Analytical