Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Orecchiette with Chicken Arrabbiata Sauce...Quick & Delicious Work Night Dinner

Well, tonight I worked late again and didn't get home until after 6:00 p.m.  I must admit, for a brief moment, I was tempted to just cave in and say, "lets eat out", instead of cook...but that thought only lasted a moment.  I quickly regrouped and took a brief inventory of what I had on hand that I could whip together easily.

In my pantry, I found a bag of whole wheat Orecchiette pasta...for those of you that don't know what that is, they are small bowl shaped pasta that are great for holding your sauce.  I also found a jar of one of my favorite "gourmet" jarred sauces....it is made by Rao's, a tiny Italian restaurant in NYC that has a waiting list over a year long....YES...that's right...a YEAR!!!  This sauce is my brother's favorite sauce -- he was the one that told me about it, and once I actually tried it, I understood why it was his favorite sauce.  It is nothing like the other jarred sauces you buy in the store -- it really tastes fresh!  Now, while I must admit their sauce is awesome, I can't imagine that there is any place worth waiting a year to eat at, in my opinion.  I love their Arrabbiata sauce which is spicy; it isn't "burn a hole in your mouth spicy" but it will definitely tickle your tonsils (or in my case my tongue....I lost my tonsils in 2nd grade).

Now, I will forewarn you, if you go looking for this sauce in your grocery store, it is a little pricier than most jarred sauces -- you will pay $8.00 to $10.00 for a jar.  I found this jar for $7.99 at Whole Foods.  While you are probably thinking that sounds like a lot of money for a jar of sauce....I will give you my rationale.  The one pound of pasta I used was $3.99 (because it is organic and imported from Italy).  It easily yields 5 to 6 large servings.  So, at $12.00 for the "gourmet sauce and pasta" divided by 6 servings, it only costs about $2.00 per serving.  You can't eat at the "golden arches" for that....you can't eat at Olive Garden (where you will get pasta served to you that is pre-cooked and pre-portioned in plastic bags...in case you didn't know, they receive their pasta that way and only heat it when you order it).  So, that $8.00 jar of sauce doesn't seem so expensive any more does it?  Is it more expensive than using $3.00 or $4.00 sauce and $1.00 pasta?  Sure....but it is a looooooooong way from eating one crappy meal "out" somewhere else.  Besides....you are worth it, right?  ;-)

Anyway, I also happened to have some boiled boneless chicken breasts left in my fridge, extras left over that I cooked for Sunday night's chicken enchiladas (Perdue is my favorite brand of boneless chicken to use -- it is a much better value because the only thing you will throw away is the package -- they don't hide wads of fat underneath to fool you like some other brands do).  My favorite chicken to use is Perdue boneless chicken breasts -- I haven't found any that are as tender or as well trimmed).  I always cook a little extra to make another meal or two with.  I made chicken salad for last night's dinner with some of the leftover chicken.  Tonight I get to use them yet again for meal #3....pretty convenient.  I diced the chicken breasts into small dice and tossed it into the sauce while it was heating.  When the pasta was done, I tossed my beautiful little pasta bowls into the big pan of sauce and chicken and sprinkled it with shredded Parmesan cheese...and voila...DINNER IS SERVED.  Literally, in 20 minutes I had a delicious dinner made.  That and a salad and you have an awesome dinner...BOOM!  Below are a few pics I will share with you...I love to photograph food -- maybe that is a little weird, but it's harmless!  This recipe has 3 ingredients...pasta, sauce and chicken!  Enjoy!

Chicken (diced, cooked Perdue boneless chicken breasts)
Such a cute couple...huh?

This is my absolute favorite shape of pasta...not only are they as cute as can be...but they do a great job of holding the sauce cupped in those little bowls and their texture is awesome. 

***Interesting factoid regarding this pasta being made with "bronze plates" as stated on the front of the bag....in researching what this meant, the DeLallo website stated:
"An important distinction in industrially produced pasta is made between bronze cut and Teflon cut - which refers to the molds, or "dies" as they are called, used in production. When Teflon dies are used, the resulting pasta is smooth and shiny. In contrast, bronze-cut pasta is rougher and more porous, producing a more homemade quality. Bronze-cut pasta holds sauces and seasonings in a way that Teflon cuts cannot.".....I learn something new every day!  For a moment, I thought it might actually contain bronze!!!


What goes great as a "not too sweet" dessert after an Italian meal you ask?  Why, Biscotti, of course...dunked in your favorite cup of coffee!  I picked up some Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti at the store this weekend...they are delicious!


Anonymous said...

Now that is a dinner worth coming home to!!!! Looks and sounds so delicious!!!!

Anonymous said...

This is making me hungry!!!!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...