Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rockin' and Roastin'

Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Chicken, Goat Cheese, and Kalamata Olives
If you've been keeping track of this blog, you may have noticed my recent obsession with roasting tomatoes. And why shouldn't I engage in the practice? It's a super easy way to pack the flavor into a variety of recipes. And . . . here's another one. The roasted tomatoes and fresh herbs combined with the creamy goat cheese and salty olives make for a perfect warm-weather dinner. The addition of a little chicken breast made for an easy protein source, but the dish is definitely flavorful enough to omit it for the vegetarians out there. I hope you like it! This was a fairly quick and very easy meal to throw together. I promise you, it was absolutely devoured!

- 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 2" pieces
- 12 oz. dried spaghetti
- 1 pt. cherry tomatoes
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 c. dry white wine
- 1/2 c. Kalamata olives sliced in half lengthwise
- 5 oz. soft goat cheese
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 c. chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves

Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with a coat of cooking spray. Rinse cherry tomatoes in water and pick off any remaining stems or leaves then arrange on foil. Drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the dried oregano and thyme. Roast in oven for about 20-30 minutes. Watch for the tomatoes to soften and for the skins to brown slightly. Remove from oven and set aside to cool while working on the rest of the meal.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on the back burner while preparing the rest of the pasta dish. In a large, heavy skillet with a lid heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Cook chicken breast pieces over medium heat for about 8 minutes until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the middle. Season with salt and pepper. Remove chicken from skillet and place in a small bowl. Cover in foil and set aside.

Return the skillet to heat and add another Tbsp. of olive oil and garlic. Cook garlic over medium for about a minute so that it softens and becomes fragrant. Add fresh chopped herbs, wine, and roasted tomatoes and any juices that they have rendered to the skillet, stirring to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the heat up to high to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 5-8 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Meanwhile, the water should be at a boil. Cook dried spaghetti until about 2 minutes before it is fully cooked through, so for about 7 minutes. 

Take a measuring cup and scoop out about 1 c. of pasta cooking water. Drain spaghetti and place the noodles in the skillet with the tomato and herb mixture, tossing with tongs to combine thoroughly. Pour about 3/4 c. of the pasta cooking water into the mixture and toss to combine, this should create a starchy, yet watery sauce. Add more pasta water if the mixture seems too dry. Bring the heat up to high so that the mixture comes to a quick boil. Cover and turn the heat to medium low and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until the pasta is cooked to al dente. Remove skillet from heat. Add the chicken, chopped, olives, and half of the goat cheese.

Using tongs to toss together, combine the ingredients thoroughly. The heat of the pasta will melt the goat cheese into a creamy texture. Once things are nearly combined, add the remaining goat cheese and toss until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Plate the pasta into 4-6 servings and top with an extra sprinkle of chopped Italian parsley if desired.

No comments:

Post a Comment