Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rigatoni w/ Tri-color Peppers & Chicken

Monday night, my youngest son came over to have dinner with me.  Hubby had another engagement so it was just sonny boy and I.  The good thing about that was...I had all these colorful peppers that I bought at Costco Saturday (red, yellow and orange) and sonny boy LOVES peppers (hubby, not so much).  So, I took full advantage of the situation and decided to make whole wheat rigatoni using all 3 different colors of peppers, along with some boneless chicken breast that I diced and quickly sauteed with the peppers in olive oil.  I added a pinch of red pepper flakes for a little heat, some sea salt, black pepper and then tossed the pasta along with the chicken and peppers with some Classico sun-dried tomato pesto.  It adds a lot of flavor without adding a lot of sauce, more of a light coating.  I love the taste of it. It was a simple, rustic meal with loads of flavor.  I also used this as an opportunity to break out my new wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano and grate it on top of the pasta.  I have always wanted to try it but didn't want to pay the steep price.  But, when I found a very small wedge at Costco a couple of weeks ago for $12.00, I thought I'd try it.  I really liked it...it has a bit stronger taste than regular Parmesan.  I snapped a few pics of this simple, quick and delicious meal.  What made the meal even more special was I got to spend some time with my favorite youngest son...that is always a good thing!  Also, he got to try my strawberry shortcake that I made on Sunday...yummy!  Oh, and before I get into any unintended trouble here...I also have a favorite daughter and a favorite oldest son, as well as a favorite "oldest son's girlfriend"...that's the great thing about life...you actually can have more than one favorite!  :-)  Below are a few pics of our meal.  Enjoy!

Beautiful red, yellow and orange peppers
Parmigiano Reggiano
Love this Classico Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
Here, take a closer look

P.S. -- In case you are interested in reading a little history about Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, below is some information I found and copied for you to read and one more picture.

Here is a picture of the rind with the "pin dot" stamp

An Italian Masterpiece

Parmigiano Reggiano has been made for centuries in one area of Northern Italy, the rolling hills and green pastures comprising Reggio Emilia, Parma, Modena and portions of Bologna and Mantua. Only there are the conditions ideal—a combination of rich countryside and cool climate—to produce the only cheese in the world that can be called Parmigiano Reggiano. Typical of this region steeped in food culture and tradition, the cheese is made in small batches using artisan methods, often passed down through families from generation to generation.

For true cheese lovers, there are few experiences that match the pleasure of savoring a perfectly aged, fresh-cut sliver of Parmigiano Reggiano. One of the three or four incomparable cheeses of the world, this is the pride of an Italian food tradition dating back almost 800 years. Crafted by artisans, carefully aged and cared for, each wheel is not only an expression of the cheese maker's dedication but of the culinary history of the region itself.

The Story of Parmigiano Reggiano

Each wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano carries proof of its authenticity. During production, the future rind is impressed with the number of the "caseificio" or cheese house, production date and pin dots forming the words "Parmigiano Reggiano." The pin dots guarantee that the cheese was made under regulation of the Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano, conforming to its stringent standards of quality.

After one year of aging, each wheel that passes the test is branded with an oval certification mark and left to finish aging. Almost every piece we cut includes part of the marked rind, so you can verify it is Parmigiano Reggiano!

No comments: