Monday, August 11, 2008

End of Summer Pasta

With the abundance of zucchini & squash, I am trying to find ways to use them up in recipes. My friend Julie sent this "end of summer pasta" recipe for me to try. It was delicious & healthy! The hubs has something against cold pasta salad, so we ate this heated up.

End of Summer Pasta

1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 1/2 pounds boned, skinned chicken breast halves, rinsed
1 pound zucchini
2 red bell peppers (12 oz. total)
2 portabella mushroom caps (7 oz. total)
1 red onion (12 oz.)
1 package (1 lb.) dried penne pasta
1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt and fresh-ground pepper
1/2 cup slivered fresh basil leaves

1. In a bowl, whisk together 2/3 cup olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Reserve 1/2 cup marinade for basting vegetables; pour remaining into a 1-gallon zip-lock plastic bag. Cut chicken lengthwise into 1-inch-wide strips and add to bag. Seal bag and turn to coat. Chill about 45 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, rinse zucchini, bell peppers, and mushroom caps. Slice zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Stem and seed bell peppers; quarter lengthwise. Peel onion and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Brush vegetables with reserved marinade.

3. Cooking in batches if necessary, lay vegetables and chicken (discard marinade) on a barbecue grill over a solid bed of hot coals or high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds); close lid on gas grill. Cook, turning once, until vegetables are slightly charred and chicken is no longer pink in center of thickest part (cut to test), 6 to 10 minutes total. Let cool a few minutes. Chop vegetables and chicken into 1-inch pieces.

4. Meanwhile, in a 6- to 8-quart pan over high heat, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Add pasta, stir, and cook, uncovered, until barely tender to bite, 9 to 13 minutes. Drain.

5. In a large bowl, mix pasta with remaining 1/3 cup olive oil, parmesan cheese, half the chopped vegetables and chicken, and salt and pepper to taste. Top with remaining vegetables and chicken. Garnish with sliced basil

A few things I changed: I only used one red pepper & one green pepper. I omitted the portabello mushrooms, but only b/c I forgot to buy some at the store. I used 1 lb of zucchini & 1 lb of squash.
This was my first success at grilling the veggies & not having them stick to the grill! Also, this makes a ton of food. So make it on Sunday or Monday & have it for lunch the remainder of the week.

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