Perhaps one of the best things about cooking is realizing which flavors blend together. I often take a basic recipe then add a pinch of this, a shake of that, until it ends up better – more intense flavors, more depth, and yes, prettier. I admit this experimentation is not always successful (as noted by my failed habanero-chili salt-whiting fish experiment earlier this week). But I’d say I’m at least 75% from the free throw line.
Following a P90X workout, this adult version of chicken spaghetti hit the spot:
1 box thin spaghetti
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup or so dry red wine
1/2 cup frozen spinach
1 jar marinara sauce
1/4 cup dried garlic chips
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp garlic sea salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 oz. goat cheese
2 sage leaves, finely chopped
Heat a medium- large skillet over low heat. Add olive oil and garlic chips. Throw in 2 chicken breasts, salting and peppering each side, turning every 3 minutes or so. You want a golden brown sear on each side, with garlic chips sticking to the chicken. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil with 1 tsp. of salt added.
When the chicken is 3/4 way cooked (it’s okay to cut it to gauge doneness), either remove chicken from pan or leave in pan and cut it into 1/2 to 1/4 inch strips. Add diced tomato, marinara, wine, red pepper flakes and garlic sea salt. Heat thoroughly, stirring occasionally.
Add pasta to boiling water and follow directions to cook al dente. For the final 5-7 minutes of pasta cooking, add frozen spinach and chopped sage to the marina sauce pan, breaking it up and stirring as it dethaws. (There’s no reason to dethaw in advance unless you like steaming piles of wet spinach on your counter.)
Drain pasta, return it to pan. Serve noodles with a ladle of sauce and dollop of goat cheese. If you’re feeling fancy, stick a sage leaf in the goat cheese for effect. Viola!