While most people decide to leave pasta behind the second the last snowflake falls from the sky, I do nothing of the sort. Of course, I scale back on the hearty red sauced pastas and heavy casseroles, but pasta is still something that is very much a part of our diet in the warmer months.
Fresh summer produce is a lovely base for pasta and at this time of year I opt I opt for lighter olive oil and butter-based sauces that won’t weigh you down or put you to sleep before 8pm.
This pasta is one of our favorites not only for its use of fresh summer produce, but also for its versatility Really, whatever veggies you can find at your local Farmer’s market or grocery store will do, although on most occasions, I just use whatever we’ve got leftover in the fridge, giving this the “kitchen sink” nickname in our household. In this case, I had oodles of leftover corn and zucchini from a stir-fry I threw together a couple of days before, so that went into the mix. I also ended up pulling out a chicken breast that either needed to get into the freezer ASAP or needed to be tossed, seasoned it with a little bit of blackening season, sautéed it up in a little bit of olive oil and cut it into bite-sized pieces. And of course, for me, no pasta is complete without a little bit of freshly grated parmiganno reggiano.
I prefer a long corkscrew type of noodle, but really anything will do, whatever you choose, just make sure to season your cooking liquid with plenty of salt because what’s left after cooking is a starchy, salty liquid that’s perfect for creating a silky sauce without a whole lot of added fat.
The perfect summer pasta….
How Do You Know When Pasta Is Done?
Really, the only way to know if pasta is done is to taste it.
Pasta should be cooked to al dente, or firm to the taste.
The longer you cook pasta, the mushier it becomes.
What Is Blackened Chicken?
Blackening is a technique in which meat or fish is dipped in butter and then dredged in spices.
The spices usually are a combination of herbs and spices consisting of thyme, oregano, chili pepper, peppercorns, salt, garlic powder and onion powder.
Creamy Summer Pasta with Blackened Chicken
- 2 large chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons blackening season
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 pound pasta (your favorite noodle will work)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 cups chopped zucchini
- 2 cups corn
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Heat a large non-stick skillet or grill pan to a medium-high heat.
- Add olive oil.
- Season chicken on both sides with blackening season.
- Cook until blackened on both sides and cooked though, about 5 minutes per side.
- Chop into bite-sized pieces.
- Bring a large deep pot to a rolling boil.
- Season water with salt. It should taste like the sea.
- Cook pasta until aldente.
- In a large skillet, heat butter over a medium heat.
- Once the butter has melted, add the garlic and onion.
- Cook until slightly softened, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add zucchini, corn and salt.
- Cook another 2-3 minutes until corn is bright yellow and zucchini is cooked, but still toothsome to the bite.
- Using tongs, add the aldente pasta to the pan, reserve starchy cooking liquid.
- Toss the pasta with the veggies.
- Add cream and cheese.
- If needed add some starchy water to the pasta to loosen the sauce up.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 591 Saturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 76.6mg Sodium: 0mg Carbohydrates: 71.4g Fiber: 4.6g Sugar: 8g Protein: 31.6g
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