I have recently tried TWO fabulous pasta dishes. The first one is from allrecipes.com. I was a little unsure of this dish when it was going into the oven because I tasted the sauce and did not like it. But to my amazement, baking it changed it in a way I can't describe. I also think the pairing of spinach balanced out the sauce.
Baked Lemon-Basil Pasta
3 cups bow tie pasta
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half -cut into bite-size pieces
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/4 cup margarine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine (I used chicken broth)
2 cups sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup torn fresh spinach
1. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in the bow tie pasta; return to a boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked through, but still firm to the bite, about 10 minutes. Drain.
2.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Season chicken with lemon pepper.
3. Melt the margarine with the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir the chicken pieces until no longer pink in the center. Remove the chicken pieces, and place them in the bottom of a casserole dish.
4. To the same skillet, add the garlic, white wine, sour cream, basil, lemon zest, and 1/2 of the lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove the skillet from the heat; stir in the pasta. Spoon the pasta and sauce mixture over the chicken. Cover with foil.
5.Bake in the preheated oven until heated through, about 15 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, parsley, spinach, and drizzle with the remaining lemon juice. Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Here are the results:
The second recipe comes from Everyday Food with Martha Stewart. Although I'm not a big Martha Stewart fan, the Everyday Food show and recipes always seem to be easy and delicious. I had to use some extra ingredients I had laying around and this was the best way to use them up.
Penne with Ricotta and Pine Nuts
* 1/3 cup pine nuts
* Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
* 1 pound penne pasta (I used whole wheat pasta)
* 1 1/2 pounds baby spinach, well washed
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
* 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread pine nuts on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven, tossing occasionally, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes; set aside.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook according to manufacturer’s directions. Add spinach during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain; return pasta and spinach to pot. Add oil; season generously with salt and pepper. Toss well.
3. Serve immediately, topped with ricotta, pine nuts, and Parmesan.
Here are the results: