Today’s guest post is from Dee from Cupcakes and Crowbars! Dee and I met at SNAP and then joined a little blogging group — I have come to love this girl for her sass and the way she tells it like it is — it’s refreshing in a blogging world that can sometimes be a little superficial. Plus she’s an amazing cook and has a ton of fun DIY projects over on her blog!
It’s widely known I rarely take shortcuts when cooking. Why? I’m a masochist. Duh. I don’t judge anyone who does do shortcuts — I don’t even think about it, truth be told. I just REALLY love cooking, and spending hours on the details fills my soul with happy. Most of the time.
Other times — mama’s got a life and a lot of kids to handle. This pasta recipe was born from the fires of one of those times. Enjoy the simplistic ease of this dish — comes together quickly, very little effort on your part, and rewards you with a subtle flavor punch of fresh herbs and parmesan.
I honestly believe there are ingredients in the kitchen you can skimp on, and ones you should ALWAYS spend the extra money for quality, because it really can make a huge difference. Cheese is one of those things that I strongly urge you to spend a little more. Cheaper cheeses tend to be fattier and more bland-tasting — and by using them you’re essentially adding fat and calories with very small taste bud-dy rewards — why would you do that? Get a REALLY great parmesan for this recipe – it pays off!
- 1 rotisserie chicken (available in most grocery store deli areas)
- 2 sweet yellow mini peppers, diced
- 2 sweet red mini peppers, diced
- 1 lb angel hair pasta, cooked as preferred
- 6 fresh basil leaves, sliced thin
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, separated
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, additional to taste
- Shredded or flaked parmesan, to taste
- Cool rotisserie chicken until you can handle it with your bare hands (not to be confused with bear hands, because those would just make a mess).
- Remove skin and dice meat into bite-size cubes.
- Start water boiling for pasta, adding 1 teaspoon sea salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil to water. During the boiling process is the only opportunity you really have to season pasta, and salt helps bring out the natural flavors.
- In a separate pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat, then add diced peppers and garlic. Saute, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes -- be careful not to scorch the garlic. Add chicken cubes and continue cooking until chicken is heated through.
- Yes I sure did just make you cool off the chicken and heat it back up again. I like to leave the chicken cubes in the pan until they get a little golden crisp on their edges, but that is a personal preference.
- Drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Gently stir in the vegetable mixture until well combined.
- Plate and serve sprinkled with thinly sliced basil leaves (see notes). Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and parmesan to taste -- and enjoy!
- This whole meal takes about 20 minutes from prep to eat, but tastes like you slaved for much longer. The ingredients (except pasta) can also be prepped ahead of time, so you'd really only have to cook the pasta and heat the remaining ingredients before tossing together.
- To make the thin basil slices: lay your leaves out on the cutting board, stacking them on top of one another from biggest on bottom to smallest on top. On the LONG side of the leaves, start tightly rolling toward the other side, creating sort of a basil burrito - wrap it tight! Then simply cut thin slices, working your way down the basil roll. Use fingers to shake them up a bit and voila! Thin basil slices.