Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Chessie's Veggie Pasta Variations

Cleopatra the man-eating plant.  She's on the porch.
Eat up or she may eat you AND your dinner.

Chessie's Veggie Pasta--Variations on a Theme
One of our favorite restaurants in Virginia is The Depot Grille in Staunton.
They have a dish I love called Veggie Chessie Pasta er sumptin' like dat.
The last time I ordered it .. it was not as good. It was very very greasy.
It was flavorless.  I knew I could learn to make it myself at home and improve it.
And I did!
Great Success!


3 large uncooked chicken breasts
1 bottle Newman's Own Balsamic Vinagrette Salad Dressing
meat mallet
plastic wrap
cutting board or butcher block
one can shoepeg corn
1 medium tomato--diced
1 jar capers-drained
2 cups uncooked penne pasta
1 packet Knorr Parma Rosa Sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/4 cups milk
olive oil
Sicilian Herb seasoning
Parmesan cheese grated not powdered
1/3 cup Pinola nuts
2 cups basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
pinch of fresh rosemary leaves
pinch of fresh lemon thyme leaves 

Place each chicken breast in between layers of plastic wrap
Pound on board with meat mallet until flattened and tenderized
on both sides.
Place in glass baking dish and marinate coating well
with balsamic vinagrette dressing. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes in refrig.

Homemade Basil Recipe:
 2 cups fresh basil leaves packed
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 garlic cloves minced
salt and pepper to taste
* optional .. add two sprigs fresh rosemary
and two sprigs fresh lemon thyme 

Puree basil and herbs in food processor
Add other ingredients and puree together.

 Pre-heat your grill
Turn on your water to boil for pasta
I used the side burner on my grill to saute' the veggie mixture since I needed to
watch the chicken closer than I needed to watch the boiling pasta.

Boil your pasta til al dente' and drain. Set aside over steam to keep hot.
Grill chicken breasts til browned. Hot all the way through and juices are completely clear.
Takes 10 minutes or less over high heat since you've pounded the chicken flat.

Grilled Balsamic chicken

Veggie  Mixture:
 1 small can shoepeg corn--vacuum packed with little juice or drained.
1 drained can capers
1 medium tomato diced and seeded
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons pesto

Saute' in skillet over high heat corn, tomatos, capers.
Add pesto.
Do not add a single bit of extra salt! Capers are extremely salty.
Their tangy, salty taste is wonderful, but you don't need any extra.

Veggie Mixture

Parma Rosa Sauce:
Take the envelope of Knorr Parma Rosa Sauce
and follow the directions on the back. At my age they are tiny and hard to read.
Here is how it goes.
Place 1 1/4 cups milk in a non-stick sauce pan with contents of sauce mix envelope.
Whisk together well over high heat.
Add 1 Tbsp butter
Whisk continually until the sauce comes to a rolling boil and thickens.
Takes about 3 minutes.

Slice the grilled chicken into strips and plate up your dish in one of a couple ways.

Grilled Chicken Parma Rosa--Kenny's favorite. Vegetables are against this man's religion.

Chessie's Veggie Pasta--vegan style!

Chessie Veggie Pasta with Grilled Chicken--This was very flavorful and satisfying!

White Wine pairing for this meal, but I think its too sweet.
I'd prefer a Pinot grigio or a Cavit Moscato which is not as sweet.

Sitting on the porch having a good after dinner conversation with Kenny ... and this appears. FIRES!  Our fire bug neighbor Tim was out there burning stumps in the dark.
He saved them til dark so it would be prettier! We're a cultured bunch of hillbillys!
Thanks for the after dinner entertainment Tim! :-)

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