It was apparent that my grocery shopping habits would have to change. There would be no more “stocking up” on anything. Grocery shopping happened nearly every day, every two days at the most….all done on foot…..to find nothing but super fresh ingredients everywhere. So, I started cooking fresher and smaller. Our meals tasted better and rarely did I make more than we could eat as not only was there not much room in the fridge for leftovers, but we also didn’t have a microwave for reheating.
Now, that I’m living in the U.S. again, I find myself slowing reverting to my old ways. I am continuing to cook with fresh ingredients, but I do find that sometimes, I simply buy too much food. Last night, when it was time to start cooking dinner at 8:00 pm (We have not reverted to eating early), I wandered over to the fridge to figure out what to make and found I had leftovers that needed using up. The surprise result was a really delicious chicken/vegetable pasta dish which I shall now call………wait for it……..
“Irene’s Chicken/Vegetable Pasta”. Sometimes, I am too clever for words.
Here’s your list of ingredients:
1 garlic clove, smashed
A yellow zucchini, sliced
Onions, chopped (onions and garlic are ALWAYS available in my kitchen)
Sundried tomatoes, cut into slivers (another pantry staple)
Dried Italian herbs
Salt and pepper
A pinch of red pepper flakes
A glug of white wine
Leftover rotisserie chicken, shredded
Leftover cooked bacon, chopped (because I’d had a craving for BLT’s a few days ago. If I didn’t have any leftover bacon, I’d use pancetta which I always have in the fridge.)
Some kalamata olives
Put your pasta water on to boil and while you’re waiting, chop up your ingredients.
When the water comes to a boil, toss in a good amount of coarse salt, stir to dissolve, add your pasta and cook to al dente.
When the oil is hot, add the zukes, onions and sundried tomato slivers. (Add pancetta here if you don’t happen to have leftover cooked bacon.)
Sprinkle over a pinch of dried Italian herbs, salt and pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
When your vegetables are wilting and just beginning to brown, discard the garlic clove and pour in a glug of white wine. Let it cook off.
Now toss in your shredded chicken, chopped cooked bacon and kalamata olives. Stir to mix and add your hot, cooked pasta. If it all appears too dry, add a spoonful of hot pasta water.