Thursday, September 19, 2013

Red Pepper Spicy Rag

Here I am, Blobby, off on another cooking adventure.

Eh - it was easy and not that adventurous, but good nonetheless.

In an on-going battle to eat right, for both of us, you don't want to sacrifice flavour for less fat.  It's a constant struggle sometimes.

We like pasta, but I will admit to not being fully on-board with the whole wheat stuff.  So if we are using white floured pasta, we try to look at the sauce we might use in that instance.  This time I went with an oil-based one to keep any cream out of it at all.  That was nicely done.

But oil is bland, so one must infuse it with something to make it better. I went with garlic, scallions and red pepper flakes.  I added chicken and broccoli later for protein and some vegetable.

1lb boneless chicken
1/4 head of broccoli (cut into small florets)
1/3 cup of olive oil
1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes
2 cloves of garlic, minced for chicken
2 cloves of garlic, smashed for oil
1 scallion, diced for oil
2 TBL of red wine sherry vinegar
2 cups of penne or wagon wheel pasta
Black pepper
Parmesan cheese

serves 4-6.

First off, I cooked the chicken on a pan with a little olive oil and the fresh minced garlic.  I removed and tented it with foil while I got the rest of the dish together (sorry, I took no pictures, except for the ingredients and the final product).  If need be, removed the garlic as it cooks. Since the chicken cooks for a bit and nothing is worse than burnt garlic.

Boil water for pasta.

In another pan, heat the oil, garlic and red pepper flakes until the oil smells fragrant (yes, I said 'fragrant'.  I'm that gay).  Then add in scallions.

Before adding the broccoli remove the garlic. Add broccoli then salt and pepper it after you toss it in the oil.  Cook for about five minutes.  Then add the red wine sherry vinegar.  At this point, add the chicken (cut up into easy to eat pieces) in with the broccoli and oil.  Mix around.

When pasta is done, drain and add to the pan with all the other ingredients. Toss together.

The oil mixture might not coat all the pasta, but you can add a little more oil and heat through. You might want to season some more with salt and pepper at this point.

Grated Parmesan, after dishing it up, is a nice touch.

Granted, the pasta looks kind of plain without "sauce", but it is very flavourful.  And I might have used a heaping 1/4 tsp for the red pepper flakes, but the dish packed some heat as you went along.  Reduce it a little if you don't like spice.

This will definitely go into my rotation. It's easy (though you use two pans), tasty and if you have vegetarians in the house, just delete the chicken.

Song by: Bela Fleck


anne marie in philly said...

the whole wheat pasta is not bad, though you have to find a brand you like (as we have done). all wheat pastas are not created equal.

have you tried the "dreamfields" pasta brand - it's white pasta, but with a low glycemic index. put homemade marinara sauce on top, some fresh grated cheese, and MANGIA!

Ur-spo said...

red pepper flakes are the panacea for nearly all meals.