Monday, September 04, 2006


I'm having a major comfort food urge today, go figure. While contemplating such loverly foods as macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese and tomato soup, and other stuff like that, I remembered a dish I made about a month ago for my family.

Before I married my husband, my culinary abilities were limited to variations of stir-fry, boiling pasta and dumping Newman's Own sauce over it, breakfast foods, and one chicken dish wherein I panfried chicken breasts in Italian dressing. With the exception of the second item, all the things I knew how to cook took a bit of time, which as a single childless woman wasn't an issue.

Now, though? Time? Hah! There ain't much of that commodity present in Casa Justice, let me tell you. I am blessed in that my husband currently does most of the cooking, saintly man that he is. Also, Kitchen Nazi that he is. I've learned over time that drafting him as a vegetable chopper is pointless, as I am swiftly relegated to knife duties while Himself takes over the composition of whatever dish I opt to cook.

And God help me if it's lasagna. More on that another post.

Anyway, even HRH gets tired of cooking, or is otherwise tied up at times, so I do end up having to feed the family on occasion. At this point in my life I can adequately roast a chicken, do an awesome pot roast in the pressure cooker, and am fairly competent in general with cooking. However, I like to cut corners wherever I can, and I do that as often as possible. What follows is a dish I made one day when I wanted to go a little further than my standard "Desperation Pasta" dish, but was still determined as hell to use pasta. Because I like pasta, dammit.

So... to the store I went. I had noticed that I already had a sundried tomato Alfredo sauce that had been gathering dust in my cabinet. From there, I also purchased a jar of sliced mushrooms, a pack of Louis Rich Italian Style chicken breast pieces, a pack of prosciutto ham (and if I spelled that incorrectly, please forgive), an onion, fresh basil, and garlic. Two other items I used which were already in my possession were rotini pasta and a Parmesan/Romano shredded cheese blend.

I first chopped the onion and browned it and two cloves of garlic in a skillet-like pan. While trying to ignore the hot stove, I chopped the prosciutto which I then added to the skillet. Once that was well-browned, I added the sundried tomato Alfredo (whole jar) and the happily pre-cooked chicken. As I allowed the combination to simmer, I started boiling the rotini pasta and also chopped the basil (approx 1/4 cup worth).

With five minutes left on the pasta boil, I added the drained sliced mushrooms and chopped basil to the skillet and continued to stir. Once the pasta was finished, I drained it, then put it into a bowl. Next, I poured the contents of the skillet over the pasta, and added 1/4 cup of the grated Parm/Romano cheese blend, and mixed well.

It went over well that night with both the husband and the offspring. I thought it was pretty tasty and I refrigerated the remainder.

The next night, oh wow. Himself and I divided the leftovers for dinner, and I must say this dish was INCREDIBLE after it had time to meld its flavors during the refrigeration period.

Would I make this "throw-together" again? Heck yeah. But I'd definitely make it a day ahead and let it sit for a night, then reheat.

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