Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chicken Pasta Primavera

Hallelujah!  I passed my exams today!  So, I am back, and as promised, I have a new recipe for you!

Let me tell you, there is a LOT of material in the Life and Health exams to get crammed into your head.  I can't remember the last time I studied that hard.  I feel like I have been in a cave, on a secluded island, for the last week and a half.  When was the last time I fixed a meal?  What was the last real conversation I had with my husband or children?  What year is it?  Oh, wait, it hasn't been that long, but it sure feels like it!  I think my brain has turned to mush, and I am so completely, mentally exhausted.  I can't recall a time I've felt this tired, but happy.  So very, very happy that it's done!  I could have kissed the examiner when she printed out my forms that said "passed."  I did refrain, however, since she didn't seem the sort who would appreciate that.

But I digress.......

FOOD!  That's what we're all about here - food!  So without any further delay - here's your Cast of Characters.

3 - 4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1 Tsp. Lawry's seasoning salt
1/4 Tsp. pepper
1 Tsp. each, Mrs. Dash Onion & Herb blend, McCormick Perfect Pinch Garlic & Herb, McCormick Tuscan seasoning
1 Bag frozen gourmet blend vegetables (broccoli, french green beans & red bell pepper, preferably)
1/2 Cup chicken broth
2 Tsp. minced garlic
1 Orange or yellow sweet bell pepper
1 Bunch of green onions
1 Tsp. freshly chopped basil, or basil from the tube
1 Lb. pasta - shells, bowties or penne
1 Cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Melt 2 tbsp. butter and cook chicken breasts, over medium heat.  Sprinkle lightly with all seasonings, but not the measured amounts.

Saute for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

As that's going, dice the green onions and bell pepper.

Add frozen veggies to chicken, and cook for 2 - 3 minutes, on medium-high. 

Meanwhile, bring generously salted water to a boil for the pasta, and cook the minimum amount of time. 

Add remaining veggies, garlic, seasonings and broth to the chicken mixture.  Turn to medium and cook while the pasta is going.

About halfway through the pasta cooking time, turn chicken mixture to medium-low.  If you haven't already shredded the Parmesan, now is a good time.

I  know that you know how to shred cheese, but doesn't it look pretty?  And, delicious!  Yeah, that's what I thought, too!

Before draining pasta, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.  Add the pasta, 1 tbsp. butter and reserved pasta water to the chicken mixture.  Stir well to combine.

Next, toss in 3/4 cup Parmesan.

Sprinkle each serving with a little of the reserved 1/4 cup Parmesan.