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FOOD | Pasta as far as the eye can see

Reposted from Kat Gaines’ food blog, The Wine-y Tomato.

My CSA box had really bad timing this month. It showed up at the front door of my building as usual, and at the time I expected, and with a little bit of a discount because they messed up last time and left out a few items which were on the list. Really guys – Farm Fresh to You is awesome (I’ve raved about them before) and their customer service kicks ass. If you need fresh and tasty produce delivered to you weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, these are the people you need to talk to.

The bad timing was based on the fact that the box showed up a few days before I was scheduled to leave for Montana for a quick Labor Day weekend getaway. Oops. Suddenly I had a giant bag of green beans, an eggplant, a watermelon, etc to somehow deal with before it went bad. For a couple days, my boyfriend and I consumed fruits + veggies like nobody’s business. Then we realized that we could not comfortably eat a pound of green beans at every meal. So I risked the freezer for the few things I knew he wouldn’t eat while I was gone (the eggplant, sadly, didn’t make it, but I discovered that green beans freeze perfectly). I also had a TON of tomatoes – which I was pretty sure I couldn’t freeze raw and knew would not get used before I left (apparently I was wrong about freezing them raw).

So I did what anyone would do – I spiced, oiled, and roasted those tomatoes until they submitted into a melty awesomeness, and when I came back, I turned them into pasta.

Look at this:

Now imagine a refrigerator overflowing with it. That’s pretty much what my fridge looks like right now. Pasta as far as the eye can see. On Sunday, my boyfriend and I decided to make something that we could stretch out / live on for a few days, and we definitely accomplished that. He made pasta his way – spaghetti with some standard marinara from Trader Joe’s, beef, cheddar cheese, and veggies. I had a forkful and it was definitely tasty, but I needed something a little lighter if I was going to live on it for a few days. So I made pasta my way – penne, veggies all over the place, chicken, pecorino, and a very light sauce of roasted tomatoes, lemon juice, and white wine.

Oh, and a ton of garlic.

I’m not even kidding – way more garlic than you might regularly add to a vat of pasta:

I need to get over my garlic addiction. Or do I? Is it really a bad thing?

This pasta has multiple components, so I multi-tasked. While thawing the roasted tomatoes:

I seasoned and roasted a few frozen chicken breast pieces in a mixture of vegetable broth, olive oil, and white wine (because I can):

And while those things were thawing/roasting, I chopped up some veggies (specifically, broccoli, bell pepper, and carrot):

And boiled the pasta (no pic, because really, boiling pasta is not all that interesting).

Then it was time for the garlic to get tasty – I tried something new and sautéed it in vegetable broth instead of olive oil. Works great, but watch it closely so it doesn’t burn:

And after that, the veggies got tasty with it (for just a few minutes, because overcooked veggies are gross, yes?) When the tomatoes finally liquefied:

It was time to mix everything together:

Finally, I threw a few splashes of lemon juice and two buck chuck chardonnay into the mix (also not pictured because they’re boring). And a couple more cloves of garlic. Then I let everything simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes…

And YUM:

Pasta perfection. I threw a little pecorino on top, because while I may not get to have mounds of cheddar in my pasta like *some* people, I can still enjoy a little cheesy goodness.



4-8 tomatoes, roasted or raw
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or 4-5 boneless skinless chicken breast tenderloins
Garlic -as much as you want (preferably lots)
1 qt of any chopped veggies you want (broccoli, green bell pepper, and carrot recommended)
Juice of 1 lemon
Several splashes of white wine (chardonnay is best)
Pecorino romano or preferred cheese -again, to your preference
Extra virgin olive oil – a few tablespoons for roasting the chicken
Vegetable or chicken broth – a few tablespoons again, for roasting the chicken and sautéing the veggies.
Spices/seasoning of your choice for use throughout the dish (I used: South African Smoke from Trader Joe’s on the tomatoes, poultry seasoning on the chicken, and a small amount of basil and white pepper in the final dish)


1. Multitask. If your tomatoes are frozen, thaw them in a saucepan over low heat. If not, chop/roast them. Season as desired. Roast chicken breast at roughly 400 degrees in desired seasoning, equal amounts broth and wine, and a slightly smaller amount of olive oil – decide on the amount according to how much chicken you’re roasting.
2. While tomatoes and chicken are thawing/roasting, chop veggies roughly and mince garlic, and set each aside. Boil pasta according to package directions.
3. While pasta is boiling, sauté garlic on medium heat in 2-3 tablespoons broth. When you can smell the garlic, add veggies and sauté for 5 minutes. Set aside.
4. Drain pasta and add to a large pot. Add tomatoes, veggies/garlic, any desired seasoning, and stir. When the chicken has finished cooking (times will vary depending on whether or not your chicken is fresh or frozen), chop chicken, add it to the pot and stir. Add lemon juice and wine (and more garlic, if desired) stir, and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes covered.
5. Plate pasta and grate pecorino on top.
6. Enjoy!