Actually, the most earth-shattering thing about this pasta is that I MADE IT JUST FOR MYSELF OUT OF INGREDIENTS I HAD ON HAND. Some of you may not know what a huge deal that is, if you’ve only recently started reading the blog. The fact is, my kitchen and I have not been all that familiar or all that friendly in many, many years. That’s why I asked you all to send me simple, one-dish dinner recipes (see previous post Give Me Your Favorite Recipes Please!). And you responded. Thank you!
Because of you I’ve found my way (marginally) back into a reasonably healthy relationship with my kitchen. We’ve begun getting to know each other again anyway.
I was talking with my friend, Kathy Kessler, on Skype today and expressed a wish for something yummy for dinner. She asked what I had in the house and this very simple recipe was born.
Proportions are still a real challenge for me because I have so little cooking experience, and all of that experience has been spent with recipes and measured ingredients. Most of you, in this little blog community, cook by instinct and your recipes reflect that. They come to me with few or no measurements, so I’m having to guess and judge. As a result, I’m learning.
Tonight’s dinner was a simple garlic pasta dish with grilled chicken breast and a little basil.
First, I cooked the pasta, drained it, doused it with a little olive oil and covered it to keep warm.
I had just a little fresh basil, so I chopped that up and minced some garlic. I peeled more garlic than I ended up using but, as it turned out, I could have used it all. I didn’t want to overwhelm the dish so I was too conservative. Live and learn, right?
Next I heated a little olive oil (again, very iffy on how much to use, but this worked out reasonably well). Kathy said to get it pretty hot but not smoking, before tossing in the garlic.
Meanwhile, I grilled the chicken (no pics of that I’m afraid folks—this was quite a bit for me to coordinate and shoot, as simple as it was).
Kathy said to cook the garlic, but not to let it get brown. She thought about two minutes would do it. I cooked it longer than that, but my oil was likely less hot than she would have done.
I added freshly ground salt and pepper and then tossed in the pasta and the basil, stirring it all together. The final touch was to serve it, placing the sliced, grilled chicken on the top, and voila! Dinner!
I have to say, it was a lovely and satisfying meal—real winter comfort food once again. Thank you Kathy! And thank you all for getting me cooking again. Just goes to show anything’s possible, right?
Love to you all,