I normally… wait, scratch that. I never write about food; I leave that to my wife (who’s slowly putting together a cook book), and to my friends Patricia DiGiacomo-Eddy (who does Seattlelites good with CookLocal.com and as the Seattle Cook Local Examiner) and Chris Perrin (doing it Vegan in Kansas City at Blog Well Done). I don’t know why, however, when I decided what I was going to cook last night for dinner, I would take pictures and then blog about it. I guess I’m just trying to exercise different writing muscles. I don’t know I’ll do it again, but for now here we go!
Pasta with Rosemary Cream Sauce
I got this recipe from the book Intercourses, a cookbook featuring recipes using a number of aphrodisiac ingredients, like honey, avocado, black beans(!) and rosemary. The dish is creamy and sumptuous, and simply one of our favorite recipes. I’ve made it a number of times and always by the book, though over the last few months I have begun to make variations depending on whim or an idea I may have had on how to tweak it. The version below is my current de-facto version of the recipe. The addition of the chicken adds much-needed protein to the dish, not to mention that it goes very well with the rosemary.
When I make this at home, I make a Kosher & vegetarian version. All the ingredients are easily available in Kosher-certified versions in any supermarket. The Parmesan cheese can be found at a specialty Kosher store. As far as the chicken, I use Morningstar Farms Chik’n Strips because it is both vegetarian and Kosher, though there are other brands of fakey chicken you can use as well.
The recipe is for 2 people. The version in the photos was doubled, however, since we had a guest for dinner.
- 1/2 pound penne pasta
- 3/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/8 cup fresh rosemary, chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 pound boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Prepare the pasta according to package instructions. In the meantime, in a large non-stick skillet, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. In an another non-stick skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Once hot, add the chopped rosemary to the large skillet and sautee over low heat for 3 minutes. Add a few leaves of rosemary to the oil on the second skillet, then add the chicken strips, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown, then set aside. If you want, you can also cut the strips into smaller cubes.
- Add the tomato paste to the chopped rosemary, stirring to mix. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the cream and Parmesan cheese to the tomato paste. Mix well.
- Add the cooked pasta and the chicken, then stir thoroughly, making sure everything gets covered in the cream tomato sauce.
- Serve. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary. Adding extra freshly grated Parmesan has been known to make people like the cook even more.
There it is, a very simple dish ready in about 20-30 minutes, including prep time. It is equally good for an out-of-the-ordinary dinner as for a romantic dinner for two. Be aware that this dish is addictive, especially if you decide that you like things a bit more creamy and/or cheesy (and I do). If you’d like to try a quick variant, I recommend using Kerrygold Dubliner cheese instead of Parmesan. Dubliner is also a hard and slightly salty cheese, but it is far creamier than Parmesan and it just makes the whole dish taste even better, which is actually saying a lot.