Pasta is always a beautiful dish. As we previously noted in Campanelle with Eggplant, Olives and Feta Cheese, there is a wide variety of pasta. Not only is there a wide variety of pasta but it is so versatile and used in countless cultures. Pasta is fabulous in salads, i.e. Macaroni Salad. You can bake it in casseroles like Campanelle with Eggplant, Olives and Feta Cheese. Pasta serves as a side dish in Jacques Pepin’s Green Couscous. Everyone loves Spaghetti with Meat Sauce or Meatballs and let’s not forget about Fettucini Alfredo or Fettucini Carbonara. Then there is the dessert Bird’s Nest Baklava. How do I love pasta? Let me count the ways…
One of the things Baby Lady and I like about pasta is it is relatively simple and quick. It is also a good way to use leftovers. This dish came about after a busy day at the office and needing to feed ourselves and Quickstep. Because I am a lover of homemade chicken stock, we roast at least 2 chickens per month so I have bones for stock and leftovers for meals such as this one. Also, Jimmy Springer (our traveling farmer) was in the neighborhood selling fresh produce and I bought some beautiful broccoli he had with him. Time constraints plus fresh produce and frozen roasted chicken in the fridge, viola this meal was created. If you like a lemon chicken, this dish will satisfy your desires. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
- 1 pound Penne Lisce pasta
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 cups Broccoli florets
- 1 pound deboned, roasted chicken rough chop
- 5 tablespoons capers
- 2 lemons, zested
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 6 oz goat cheese, softened
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite (al dente), stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. While the pasta is poking, rough chop and heat the deboned, roasted chicken (a microwave is perfect for this). Also, combine the lemon juice and olive oil and emulsify.
Simultaneously with the pasta water, using a medium size dutch oven, add 1-1/2 cups of water and place over high heat to bring to a boil. When both the pasta water AND the water in the small dutch oven are boiling, insert a steamer basket into the small dutch oven. Add 2 cups broccoli florets to the pan and steam for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside – DO NOT SHOCK in ice water as you want the broccoli still heated. It will continue to cook from the residual heat but it will not overcook. Trust me on this.
When the pasta is done, drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl. Add the goat cheese and stir into the pasta.
Next add 1/2 cup of the pasta water. The pasta water adds salt, helps melt the cheese and thicken the resulting sauce. Add the garlic
Next the lemon zest
Then the crushed red pepper according to your taste
the emulsified olive oil/lemon juice mix (actually it’s a colloidal suspension but who cares)
Next, the heated, deboned, roasted chicken
Finally, add the blanched broccoli and capers, toss to combine and fully incorporate.
Serve and Enjoy!