Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cooking Party #1: Bow-tie Pasta with Broccoli and Potatoes

I recently made friends with a neighbor (Emily) who shares the same interests in cooking as I do. And to top it off, she receives Food Network magazine at work and has been wanting to try out some of their recipes... I was so excited to learn this because I have been too! So we set a date and had a cooking party at my place.

If you get Food Network magazine, you'll know that the September issue was packed full of recipes that sounded amazing and seemed pretty healthy too so it wasn't easy for us to decide what to make. We decided to go with a well balanced meal and did the Bow-tie Pasta with Broccoli and Potatoes. We wanted to add a protein into the mix to we grilled chicken and added that in too.

Aside from being fun to make, this dish was so tasty! You'll see that the dish calls for quite a bit of salt... don't be alarmed, it tastes just fine that way. Since the base of the dish is potato, pasta and broccoli, which are all bland foods, you actually need the salt to spice the dish up a bit. All in all, this dish came together wonderfully. Every bite was packed full of flavor. We were both very happy with the final product...and how cute did we look while making it!? ;)

Recipe: (From Food Network Mag.)
Kosher Salt
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large bunch of broccoli, florets and some chopped stems
12 oz bow-tie pasta
4 chicken breasts, chopped
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced into half moons
Freshly ground pepper
1 head Boston lettuce, torn
1 1/2 cups grated fontina cheese (about 4 oz)
1/2 cup grated parmesan (about 1 oz) plus more for topping.

1) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook 10 minutes, then add the broccoli and pasta and cook as the pasta label directs.
2) Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks, 1 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste. Cook until soft, about 7 minutes.
3) While pasta and vegetables cook, grill chicken until cooked through. Set aside.
4) Put the lettuce in a colander. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta, broccoli and potatoes over the lettuce to wilt it. Return the pasta and vegetables to the pot. Add chicken and stir.
5) Add the leeks to the pot and stir in enough of the reserved cooking water to moisten. Stir in cheeses and season with salt and pepper. Top off with more parm if desired.


Sounds like a lot to work on, right? Well it was!! Since there are so many items to chop, dice, grate and boil, Emily and I took turns running circles around each other to complete the meal. It was a lot of fun though. I know this could also be done solo, as long as time is spent beforehand to complete prep work.

I'm sure you are dieing to know what potatoes and cheese taste like with get your butt in the kitchen and find out! ;)

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