Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash, Prosciutto, and Sage

16 02 2012

This simple, hearty pasta recipe is packed with flavor. The crisp prosciutto pairs well with the sweet, tender butternut squash. And since it’s relatively quick to make, this is a great weeknight meal!

Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash, Prosciutto, and Sage

The following serves 4 (compliments of Scott Conant):

  • 1 medium (about 2 and 1/4 pounds) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • 3/4 pound penne pasta
  • 3 ounces prosciutto thinly sliced and finely chopped (the original recipe called for pancetta which I’m sure would be delicious)
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced crosswise (I substituted red onion, finely chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, flakes
  • 10 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped or torn
  • 1/2 cup finely grated pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butternut squash on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil; season with salt. Transfer to oven and roast until squash is browned and tender, about 15 – 20  minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the water and return to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Set pasta and reserved cooking liquid aside.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add prosciutto or pancetta and cook until just crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Add shallots, crushed red pepper, and sage. Cook until shallots are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add penne and squash and toss gently, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid as necessary to moisten.
Add cheese and black pepper and cook, tossing gently, until pasta and squash are heated through. I finished
with about a Tbsp cubed cold butter, tossing everything together until melted. Serve immediately with more grated cheese, if desired.

Saltimbocca Chicken Breasts With Sage Pan Sauce Over Creamy Arugula Pasta

5 02 2012

In Italian, saltimbocca literally means to “jump in the mouth.” And the combination of prosciutto, provolone cheese and sage are just that delicious! The pasta with greens compliments the classic flavors of saltimbocca too. This meal doesn’t take as long as it may seem, but elicits a special feeling…great to make for date night!

Saltimbocca Chicken Breasts With Sage Pan Sauce Over Creamy Arugula Pasta

The following serve 2 (compliments of Cuisine For Two):

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 5 oz each)
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 oz provolone cheese, cut into two sticks
  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter, plus another 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp minced shallots
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp minced fresh sage

For the pasta:

  • 4 oz dry angel hair pasta
  • 3 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup torn arugula

Preheat oven to 400. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil to cook the pasta, cover the pot with a lid to speed up the boiling time.

Season chicken with pepper, cut a slit in each, then stuff with cheese. Wrap each breast with two overlapping slices of prosciutto. The slices I had were a little on the small side, so I ended up using three slices each.

Saute chicken in oil and 1 tsp butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, turning to brown all sides, 6-8 minutes total. Place chicken bundles on a rack set on a baking sheet; transfer chicken to the oven for 5 minutes to finish cooking. Remove chicken and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

When you put the chicken in the oven, work on the sauce. Saute shallots for sauce in 1 tsp butter over medium-high heat using the same skillet in which the chicken was browned. Cook until shallots are soft, about 1 minute. Deglaze pan with wine; simmer over high heat until liquid nearly evaporates. Add broth and lemon juice; simmer until liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Stir in 2 Tbsp butter and sage.

When you take the chicken out of the oven to rest, work on the pasta (your pasta water should be boiling by now). Cook the pasta in boiling water for about 4 minutes. In a bowl, whisk together the cream, parmesan, egg yolk, zest, pepper flakes, salt and pepper – then top with arugula. Drain the pasta and add it to the bowl. Toss to coat pasta with sauce and to wilt the arugula.

Place one chicken bundle on each of two plates; drizzle with sauce and serve alongside pasta.

Lemon-Sage Chicken Cutlets with Creamy Parm Polenta

5 12 2011

My post on facebook tonight says it all: “The chateau is filled with the aroma of talent! Yep, that would be me cooking!” I paired this chicken dish from the Food Network holiday mag with one of my go-to polenta recipes. Believe me, this meal will help you feel the talent too…and don’t be shy, it’s OK to brag a little 🙂

Lemon-Sage Chicken Cutlets with Creamy Parm Polenta

The following two recipes serve 2:

  • 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 and 1/4 lbs)
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper
  • All-purpose flour for dredging
  • 2 large eggs
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus wedges for serving (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 springs sage, leaves only
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter (best if it’s cold)

Slice each chicken breast in half horizontally to make 2 thin cutlets. Sprinkle lightly with water, place between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound until 1/4 inch thick. The chicken breasts I used must not have been as thick as what the recipe called for, because they were thin enough once I sliced in half. Either way, once you have them to the desired thickness, season with salt and pepper.

Pour some flour into a shallow dish and season lightly with salt. Lightly beat eggs with the lemon juice in another shallow dish.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Dredge the cutlets in the flour, shaking off any excess; dip in the lemon-egg mixture, coating both sides. Add the cutlets to the skillet and cook until golden on the bottom, about 2-5 minutes. Add the sage leaves to the skillet, then turn the cutlets and cook until golden on the other side, about another 2-5 minutes (depends on the thickness – you want to make sure the chicken juice runs clear). Transfer the cutlets and sage to a paper towel-lined plate.

Pour out any remaining oil from the skillet. Add the wine and chicken broth and cook over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the butter and swirl until melted.

Transfer the chicken to a platter or individual plates. Serve along with the polenta recipe below and dress everyone with the pan sauce. Serve with lemon wedges if desired.

When you start the pan sauce above, also start the polenta recipe below:

  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Bring milk and broth to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in cornmeal, reduce heat to low, and simmer until thick, 5 minutes, whisking constantly. Thin with water or more chicken broth if necessary. Off heat, finish with parmesan, oil and salt.