Greetings from lovely South Carolina and DeBordieu!...
As I shared yesterday, we're on our annual beach vacation and enjoying time together as a family. Being the crazy cooking fool that I am, I love to come up with delicious, yet simple meals even while vacationing! I have fun creating yummy picnic lunches and savory dinners we can linger over while enjoying each other's company.
As much as I take pleasure in preparing meals for my family, we have a tradition that I look forward to each year; both my daughter and daughter-in-law take one evening during the week and wow us with a fabulous dinner. They are both wonderful cooks and I have to confess that I don't eat much on the days they are cooking dinner - so that I can really enjoy the evening meal! My daughter, Caitlyn, took her turn last night and prepared a fantastic Roasted Tomato and Chicken Pasta. She prepped much of the meal early in the day and had us all going crazy with the incredible aromas wafting throughout the house! After a fun day of bike riding, picnic breakfasts, an alligator hunt (see pictures), swimming in the pool and playing on the beach, we were all starving and thoroughly enjoyed her meal.
A few pictures from our "alligator hunt" yesterday morning (we actually saw eleven of them!) followed by Caitlyn's yummy dinner:
Roasted Tomato and Chicken Pasta by Caitlyn
This wonderful recipe is from a McCormick spice ad I came across in a magazine a few months ago. I can't say that I've ever made a advertisement recipe before, but the picture looked so yummy, I just had to give it a go. The first time around I followed the recipe just as written and sure enough, it turned out to be as good as I had suspected! The only problem was; my husband doesn't consider anything a meal unless it contains some form of meat. So, the second time I added some portobello mushrooms and shredded chicken, thus making it into a meal all by itself. It's a perfect vacation meal because both the sauce and chicken can be made ahead of time allowing me to be on the beach for a few extra (and precious!) minutes. You see, we live in London and don't see the sunshine for much of the year!
The other secret that truly makes this recipe work is the advice of one of my Italian friends.....salt the pasta water....a LOT. According to her, you should add salt to your pasta water until you can taste it. She swears that the only reason Italian food is so good is because of all the salt involved. I'm not sure about the validity of that statement, but I do know that in my mind, pasta has a new lease on life as a culinary option. For this recipe I used about a gallon of water and probably 1 tablespoon of table salt- it will vary depending upon how much water you use. Hope you enjoy it! Caitlyn
Roasted Tomato and Chicken Pasta
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried italian seasoning
2 tsp sea salt (we love Maldon!)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 lb tomatoes, cored and sliced in half
2 portabello mushroom caps, diced to 1/2 inch
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 package linguine pasta (I use DeCecco)
1 tablespoon table salt
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 cup torn basil leaves
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Combine first 6 ingredients in bowl and mix to combine.
3. Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray (or line it with foil) and arrange tomatoes cut side up along with portobellos. Drizzle with juices from bowl and bake for 45 minutes or until tomatoes begin to brown and release juices. Set aside to cool.
4. Meanwhile drizzle chicken breasts lightly with EVOO and season with seasoning salt. Place in oven along side tomatoes for 40 minutes or until they begin to brown and are lightly firm to the touch. Set aside to cool.
5. Once tomatoes have cooled, crush half of them with a potato masher (or with your fingers), removing the skins of the crushed tomatoes. Allow other half of tomatoes to remain intact.
6. Shred chicken into bite sized pieces.
7. Bring large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add salt and pasta and cook according to package directions. Once al dente, scoop a cup of pasta water out of pot before straining.
8. Combine tomato sauce, chicken and pasta in large bowl adding pasta water if needed to moisten sauce. Top with parmesan and basil leaves. Enjoy!