Ziti alla Valeria - for lack of a better title!
I concocted this recipe one evening a few years ago when time was short, I had a chicken breast in the fridge that needed to be used, and little else in the house after a few weeks' of traveling. I used the Italian ingenuity for coming up with simple dishes based on only a few ingredients on hand. This has been a much-used recipe ever since. I occasionally "rich it up" by stirring in about one-half cup of fresh ricotta just before serving. It's done in the time it takes for the pasta to cook. Teamed with a salad or freshly steamed veggies, dinner is on the table in about 20 minutes.
Ziti, penne, rigatoni, or other "chunky" type of pasta
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 or 2 boneless chicken breasts, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBSP sundried tomato paste*
2/3 C. chicken broth
about 2 tsp. fresh parsely, chopped
grated Grana or Parmigiana cheese
Boil the pasta to al dente.
Meanwhile, heat a large, heavy skillet. Add olive oil and saute the minced chicken and the garlic together until the chicken is cooked and garlic is softened, about 3 minutes. Add the sundried tomato paste and the chicken broth, stirring together until well combined. Partially cover and let simmer about 5 minutes. Drain the pasta and add to the pot. Stir and cook together about a minute to let it absorb the flavors. Serve dusted with freshly grated cheese.
*Do not substitute regular tomato paste. If you can't find the tubes of sundried tomato paste, buy a jar of sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil, and blender it with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
copyright 2005 Valerie Schneider