We were supposed to have Week 11, Meal 1: Penne with pistachio pesto on the blog today, but I’m a dummy and left those pictures at home.
Not being one to show up to the party without a gift, I was quick enough to reshuffle and present to you Week 11, Meal 2: Linguine with Italian salsa verde, grilled chicken, roasted cherry tomatoe and fresh mozzarella.
The herb “salsa” bursts with freshness, the roasted tomatoes develop a deep flavor as they cook in their own sugar and the fresh cheese adds just enough creaminess to round out this delicious dish.
The Recipe (Yield: 2 servings)
Meal 2: Linguine with Italian salsa verde, grilled chicken, roasted cherry tomato and fresh mozzarella
2 serving sizes of linguine, check box
8 oz. chicken breast
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes (TOMATOES NEED TO BE ROASTED 2 HOURS AHEAD OF THE REST OF THE MEAL)
3 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, small diced
1 oz. fresh basil, stems removed
2 oz. fresh parsley, stems removed
1 oz. fresh oregano, stems removed
1 T capers, drained
1 shallot, roughly chopped
1 1/2 T olive oil
1 lemon, juiced and zested
2 T pine nuts
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
First, coat 1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes with 1/2 T of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish and roast on 275 degrees for up to two hours.
During the roasting process, the sugars in the tomatoes will cook down, the skins will wrinkle and the tomatoes will dry out a little. The picture above is what you’re going for.
About an hour into the tomato roasting, you can take care of everything else for the meal.
Dice 3 oz. of fresh mozzarella into small pieces. The smaller they are, the more bites of pasta you will have with cheese in them.
Zest 1 lemon. When you’re done zesting it, chop it in half and juice that bad boy. Reserve the zest and the juice for the salsa verde.
Roughly chop 1 clove of garlic and 1 shallot.
The most tedious part will be removing herbs from their stems. Chef Brian’s recipe calls for the herbs to be measured in ounces, but we just kinda guestimated. We used 1 bunch of parsley, 1 bunch of basil and 1 bunch of thyme.
This would be a good time to preheat the grill to high heat and drop a pot of salted water on the stove for the pasta. Bring the water to a boil.
In a food processor, combine all herbs, garlic, shallot, lemon and lemon zest with 2 T of pine nuts and 1 T of capers. Add salt and pepper to taste. Now, food process the heck out of it.
The result will be a bright green sauce that resembles a loose pesto sauce.
Depending on how thick your 8 oz. chicken breast is, you should or shouldn’t butterfly it. Then, grill it over high heat, about 5 minutes per side. Let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes before you go hacking into it. When you’re ready to serve, slice the chicken into strips.
While the chicken is grilling, cook 6 oz. of linguine according to the package directions. Ours took about 10 minutes to cook.
If you’ve timed it right, your tomatoes should be ready about the same time the chicken and pasta are ready. In a bowl, mix together chicken, pasta, tomatoes, 1 T of salsa verde and mozzarella.
If you don’t think there’s enough salsa on the pasta, feel free to throw on another tablespoon or two, until you get the right amount of sauce for you.
Now dig in! Quick and simple, healthy and delicious. If only eating healthy was so easy all of the time!