Friday, 20 March 2015

CSA Winter Box 1: Chicken, Mushroom and Swiss Chard Pasta

Two blog posts in two days?!  I'm on a roll! ... Even through battles of a teething poorly baby :-(  Luckily her bedtime is earlier than mine (just!) so I'm dashing through and making the most of it!
After the broccoflower, the next new and exciting vegetable was Swiss chard.  Now this was a surprise to me - it was MUCH more delicious than I originally anticipated, and I'd even consider buying it again!  It made this dish fresher and had a great texture.  A pleasant surprise for sure!
I used this recipe from Giada de Laurentiis, with just a few changes.  It was all me cooking for dinner, so I got to work.  It felt good to start and finish cooking this meal from scratch.  My amazing husband had been making so many of them since our little one arrived, so it was nice for a change to treat him to a fresh cooked meal when he got home.
All of the elements of this dish are DELICIOUS, the creamy mascarpone with pasta shells to soak it all in, my favourite mushrooms of curse, and as well as how easy it is made by using rotisserie chicken rather than spending extra time cooking up chicken breast yourself! 
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 pack slice mushrooms
Salt and Pepper
1 pound pasta (I used shells but Giada used bows!)
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large or 2 small shallots, slices
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
One 12oz bunch Swiss chard, centre stems removed and leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
2 tsore bought rotisserie chicken breasts, diced into 1/2 inch pieces to yield 2 cups of meat
1.  Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil over a high heat.  Cook the pasta until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes.  Drain and reserve about 1 cup of pasta water.

2.  Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large, non-stick saute pan.  Add the shallots, mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Cook until the shallots and mushrooms are soft, about 3-5 minutes.  
3.  Add the chard in batches and cook until wilted, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
4.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the mascarpone cheese.  Stir until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Then add the chicken.
5.  Add the chicken stock and the reserved pasta water to the pan.
6.  Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss until all ingredients are combined. 
7.  Serve and enjoy! 

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