Friday, October 7, 2011

Whole Wheat Pasta and Chicken with Garlic and Olive Oil

This is a simple, warm dish for a chilly Fall afternoon. The chicken was a tiny bit oily (because I heated it in the oil): I kind of like it that way, but if you don't, just add it to the pasta after you've mixed the pasta and sauce. If you do it that way, reduce the amount of oil by half a tablespoon and heat up the chicken somehow before putting it in.

30g whole wheat spaghetti
1/2 cooked chicken breast, cut into pieces
1 and 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 small or 1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped 
fresh parsley to taste, finely chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste

you'll also need:
small non-stick frying pan
medium pot of salted water
rubber tongs
pasta strainer
heat-proof stirring spoon

1. bring the pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta until it's done but still a bit firm. Reserve some of the cooking water, then drain it.

2. meanwhile, heat the olive oil and garlic in the frying pan, stirring frequently, until the garlic is starting to brown.
3. remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chicken. The chicken will absorb some of the oil at this point, which will warm it and make it taste garlicky (as well as give it a bit of an oil sheen). Then, tilt the pan so the remaining oil pools on the side, separate from the chicken, so it can't keep being absorbed. Prop the pan up on something so it stays this way until you add the pasta. I propped mine up on the rubber tongs.
4. when the pasta is done, add it to the pan and use the tongs to lift and turn it until it's coated in the sauce and mixed with the chicken. Add the parsley and red pepper flakes and toss again. If the sauce doesn't fully coat the pasta, add some of the reserved pasta water, though you shouldn't need to do this. Serve the pasta and enjoy it hot.

I got this recipe from the book Serves One, and adapted it by adding chicken, and increasing the amount of garlic and oil.

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