Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Back in the saddle

Chicken and Linguine in Creamy Tomato Sauce
Favorite Brand Name Slow Cooker Casseroles and More Copyright 2002

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into ½-inch strips
1 jar (26 to 28 ounces) Ragu Old World Style Pasta Sauce
2 cups water
8 ounces uncooked linguine or spaghetti
½ cup whipping or heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped or ½ teaspoon dried basil leaves, crushed

1. In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and brown chicken. Remove chicken and set aside
2. In same skillet, stir in Ragu Pasta Sauce and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in uncooked linguine and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes or until linguine is tender.
3. Stir in cream and basil. Return chicken to skillet and cook 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

Make 4 servings.

I wasn't crazy about the texture of the pasta cooked in the sauce. It was pretty good, just not as good as it would have been cooking the pasta the traditional way. I think this might be a better dish cooking the pasta separately in salted water and leaving the water out of the recipe. It was the first meal I've eaten in days besides saltines, toasted cheese and farina and it hit the spot. I grated a bit of parmesan on top.

[Edited to add: This was really good leftover the next day. It was still saucy and the texture of the pasta was just fine. Usually my pasta soaks up all the sauce when it sits in the fridge but I bet you could make a pan of this and heat it up in the oven for a nice cook-ahead meal. My 21-month loved this too. Maybe I would make it this way again! Maybe it just needed to cook a bit longer.]

Another recipe from one of my 'Favorite Name Brand' cookbooks. I really like these cookbooks, published by Publications International. I have this one, one for appetizers and one for baked goods and all three are excellent. They don't cover the basics of cooking or baking but they each have a great variety of recipes and they all sound great. I just noticed the retail price on this book is $59.95! Was that USD, I wonder? It is a hardcover book with heavy pages and glossy photos, over 500 recipes on almost 400 pages but $60 for a cookbook?? I paid $7, cheap even for the discount place I purchased it from, because it has some superficial damage on the cover. I got a great deal!

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