Two motivated young woman, a beautiful array of their favorite foods, a willingness to learn and a love of pasta. One result from this impressive combination was Pasta Eleonore, named after Diane’s Italian friend visiting from Munich where she also attends a French Lycee. Diane is a freshman at the French Lycee in Chicago and they are required to find a 3 day “internship” with a business in which they are interested. I was flattered that Diane picked Al Dente. We created 2 new recipes together, we learned from each other and we had fun. Another Al Dente win/win, if you ask me.
Diane and Eleonore began the morning by heading to Whole Foods and picking out their favorite ingredients. I had no idea what I would find when I got to Diane’s home. What a display they had for me! I quickly assessed the ingredients and decided that we would make one pasta dish and call it Pasta Diane, using broccoli, chicken, mushrooms and tomatoes. This one we would use Fiesta Fettuccine, since it is Diane’s favorite and add a little cream and chicken stock. The other, we would call Pasta Eleonore, and it would be a delicious combination of asparagus, multi-colored sweet peppers, shrimp, green onions, a little chicken broth and Al Dente Lemon Chive Fettuccine. Since Diane doesn’t like cheese- Yes, I was with a French girl who doesn’t like cheese and an Italian girl who never liked vegetables until she tried them the way we prepared them with the pasta.
Diane will be posting the recipes on the Al Dente Canoodler in the near future. Until then, here is a close approximation as to how we made these two recipes. Please remember that it was all about improvisation. What you love, what is in season, what you can afford,what you are in the mood for.
(4-5 generous servings)
1 nice bunch of asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces, on the diagonal
6 mini sweet peppers, cut into cubes. (or 2 large)
6 green onions, sliced
1/2 lb. cooked shrimp (optional)
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup broth or cooking liquid from pasta
salt and pepper
1 bag (12 oz.) Al Dente Lemon Chive Fettuccine, or your favorite flavor
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put large pot of water on stove to bring to a boil. Coat an oven proof baking pan with 1 Tbsp. oil. Arrange vegetables on baking dish in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. coarse salt and 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Roast in oven for approximately 20 minutes, until asparagus are tender. In the meantime, cook pasta for 3 minutes in boiling, salted water. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water if you will not be using chicken broth. Toss drained pasta with vegetables, broth, a little more oil. Pass the Parmesan. Enjoy!
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1.5 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
8 oz. broccolini
6 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup cream
salt and pepper
1 bag of Al Dente Fiesta Fettuccine, or your favorite flavor
Put large pot of salted water on stove. When it comes to a boil, add pasta and broccoli. After 3 minutes, test pasta. When done, drain and reserve. In meantime, saute mushrooms in non-stick skillet in oil and butter for 2 minutes. Add chicken, cooking until cooked through and browned on outside. Add stock to chicken bring to a boil. Add cream, bring to a boil. Add pasta and broccoli to skillet tossing all together. Add tomatoes and pass the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.