I get a lot of recipes from friends, and my e-mail box has many missives with “this is really good – try it” subject lines. Friends and family are a great source of tried-and-trues – they usually know what we like and have already tinkered with the dish to make it even better, saving me time, which is a party line I can get behind.
Right now, I have an onion soup recipe to try from Trevor and a Not Chestnut Cake recipe from Chris, but on Friday night, I managed to cross one off my list… Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Feta from my friend, Denise.
The Husband worked late Friday night, and since Nicholas had already put dibs on “that pasta with the red sauce” that The Newlywed Neighbors were kind enough to drop off earlier in the week, I definitely could have gotten away without making a new dish for dinner, but this recipe from Denise (who got it from Bon Appetit) was beckoning me. I put a pot of water on the stove to boil and Nicholas suited up with his apron to get ready to help out. Within just a few minutes, we had the saute pan going with chopped Portabellas (“yuck!” says Nicholas, just like his father), green onions and garlic, and a mere half an hour later and a few other ingredients, we were sitting down to eat a hearty, filling meal.
As soon as Nicholas and I sat down at the table, and I took a bite, I knew we had a winner on our hands. It seriously tastes like something you could order at a restaurant, but for only a few bucks for items at the grocery store, and a little bit ‘o time in the kitchen, you could be enjoying this one in the comfort of your own home. Dig in!
Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Chicken, and Mushrooms
Bon Appétit, December 2002
Wendy Popp, Richmond, Virginia
Wendy Popp of Richmond, Virginia, writes: “My job as a physical therapist and my hobby, horseback riding, keep me pretty busy. But my sons — Sammy, two, and Weston, four — keep me moving the most, which has changed my cooking style. I used to be much more experimental, but now I need low-maintenance, tried-and-true recipes that will please the boys (including my husband, Jim) and impress dinner guests.”
Servings: Makes 4 servings.
1 pound plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise, seeded, wedges halved (I used grape tomatoes; have you seen Jersey tomatoes in the winter? Not pretty!)
5 tablespoons olive oil (I used 3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
12 ounces penne pasta (I used 16 oz, full box)
6 small portobello mushrooms (portobellini), dark gills removed, caps sliced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 pound chicken tenders, halved lengthwise, then halved crosswise (I used a pound)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon, since I had it on hand)
Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine tomatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, and oregano in small bowl; toss to blend. Place tomatoes on baking sheet. Roast until beginning to dry and wrinkle, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta; let stand in colander.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in same pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onions, and garlic and sauté until mushrooms are tender and brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer mushroom mixture to medium bowl. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pot and sauté until brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add mushroom mixture and roasted tomatoes to pot. Add penne, feta, Parmesan, chicken broth, and wine; toss until heated through and sauce coats pasta, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.