Maccheroni with Ricotta, Red Peppers, Chicken, and Asparagus

April 12, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Yesterday I had the flu.  I absolutely hate any illness or injury that keeps me from enjoying food.  Which is why when I had my wisdom teeth out in middle school I was miserable, and when I broke my ankle in high school , lets just say my ankle wasn’t the only thing that became swollen. (get it?)

Fortunately, my bug was of the 24-hour variety.  So after laying in bed all day yesterday with no appetite, I woke up this morning absolutely starving!  Nic and I went to the pastry peddler to visit Katie the golf-champion turned pastry chef, and eat her delectable pastries, tempered with intelligentsia coffee.  We picked up a few groceries, and went home with bags full of asparagus, artichoke, beets, pasta and ricotta.

I should mention that when we got home we ran 5k to train for a race and to combat the “swelling” that comes with eating Zingerman’s food all. the. time.  Trust me, life is tough.  I also had a chance to work on my victory garden, I planted haricots verts, snap peas, butter lettuce, arugula, shizo leaf, fennel, and big red poppies!

Come dinner time we made this:

Maccheroni with ricotta, chicken thighs, Moulin Mahjoub Sweet Pepper Harissa, and sauteed asparagus.  A super easy quick delicious dinner that will knock the socks off of a certain somebody’s 30-minute meals.

And when you finish… there’s still dessert.

And by dessert, I mean sneaking back into the kitchen with a torn off hunk of bread to soak up all of the crisped up dregs of ricotta, peppers, and juices that have been left for dead in the pan.  And THAT is why this blog is called crispy edges.  These moments alone in the kitchen, when I am beyond satiated, are the times when I can focus the most on the tastes and textures of what I am eating.  This is when I appreciate food the most.

If you like what you saw, here’s the recipe (that I sorta made up as I typed this)

1 lb. chicken thighs (cut into 1″ cubes)

1/2 lb. fresh asparagus (sliced into 2″ sticks)

2 cloves of garlic (minced)

1/2 lb. ricotta cheese

4 Tbs.  Moulin Mahjoub Sweet Pepper Harissa (available at this really neat deli)

1lb bag of Rigatoni Maccheroni (Martelli’s Maccheroni is great!)

1 big pot of water, boiling and generously salted.

Add a few Tbs. of olive oil to a dutch oven or saute pan to coat the pan, and heat the pan over medium high heat.  Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper and sautee until cooked through.  Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add the asparagus and the garlic to the pan and saute until the asparagus is tender but still has a little bit of a snap to it.  Don’t let it get mushy or you’ll be miserable.  Well I guess it won’t be the end of the world.  Just don’t let it happen, okay?

(this would be a good time to start cooking the pasta)

Turn down the heat to low, and add the chicken back to the pan, along with the sweet harissa and the ricotta cheese.  Stir until everything is mixed together and warmed through, taste and season to taste if needed.  take the pan off the heat and cover.

Cook the pasta until it is al dente, drain and add to the vegetable-chicken-ricotta-mixture.  Toss the pasta to throw it all together, and top with a pinch of sea salt, and a whole lot of parmigiano reggiano.

Enjoy dinner, soaking up the leftovers in the pan is not optional.

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1 Comment »

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  1. My grandmother made Asparagus (in December?) and cooked it to the point that it was falling apart. Greg and I almost died.


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