Friday, February 5, 2010

Snowstorm Sicilian Pasta

As a major snowstorm spread across our area, I felt the need to make something soothing and decadent in a very southern Italian key. Here is Snowstorm Sicilian Pasta, invented to celebrate the music of falling snow:

1 large red onion, thinly sliced
3 large shallots, or six small--minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of pine nuts, toasted
1 fennel bulb, sliced--keep the fronds for serving
3 organic chicken thighs, skinned
1 cup half and half or cream
1 cup red pepper pesto
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup golden raisins
a handful of pea shoots or other small fresh greens
grated reggiano-parmesan cheese
1/2 lb fresh fettucine

 Sauté chicken thighs in olive oil until nicely golden; season with salt and black and cayenne pepper. Set aside. Sauté shallots, red onions and garlic in a blend of olive oil and butter until cooked; season lightly with salt. Add fennel slices, cook until tender.

Toast pine nuts until lightly golden in oven or toaster oven.
Bring salted water to boil, add pasta, cook until tender, drain and fluff with a little olive oil and or butter; grind some black pepper over top.

Cut cooked chicken thighs into smallish pieces, add to onion-fennel mixture. Gently re-heat, adding chicken stock, ground pepper, some red pepper flakes, toasted pinenuts and golden raisins. Next add the cream and red pepper pesto--blend and check seasonings. Toss in a handful of baby greens.

Add pasta to chicken-vegetable sauce, re-heat slowly to blend. Just before serving, grate reggiano-parmesan cheese over, garnish with fennel fronds. Serve with a young, bright red--we enjoyed a Blue Fin 2007 California Petite Sirah with this!


Angi said...

Ooohh Girl that looks sooo yum! Stay warm in all that white stuff :)

bentobird said...

Hi Angi!
Thank you:) We are enjoying the spectacle of 2 plus feet of snow and more coming down!

Angi said...

2 FEET!!! Wow... I read the news over there but I never would have thought that! Oh just to give you some spring time thoughts.... I went out poking in the garden today and saw tulips up about 3 inches!!!! Stay safe and warm!

bentobird said...

Hey Angi!
Yep, it's quite amazing! Enjoyed your tulip report--wow! Will be thrilled to see mine emerging in just a couple more months....:D

hapa bento said...

Yum. The pine nuts and golden raisins seals the deal on this recipe.

Wow, that's a lot of snow. Keep warm!

bentobird said...

Hiya hapa :)
Thanks for visiting! Yes, pine nuts and golden raisins sing very well together. Yumee.
Snow has finally stopped and the mounds and drifts are a beautiful lavender blue under the darkening evening sky...

babykins said...

It's definitely delicious! I can see that with only reading your recipe. It's exotic and tempting flavor to me. Though it's difficult to prepare all ingredients in Japan, I'd love to try Snowstorm Sicilian Pasta!

bentobird said...

Hi babykins!
Glad you liked my new dish--I'd love to share some with you :)

Anonymous said...

Love these pictures! Can you imagine us sweating through a torrid 36C? Just looking at your lovely images cools me. The pasta is gorgeous. Do you think dill would work okay instead of the fennel - I've got lots of volunteer dill in the vege patch although its bolted a bit in the heat.
p.s Is that a wooden fish in your snowy garden?
Blorgie1 x

tatabonita said...

Yum... give me a plate of this drooling pasta :D

Coffee and Vanilla said...

Looks goooood :)

bentobird said...

Hi Carolyn/Blorgie1!
Thank you! Yes, dill would work fine and give this a more northern (hence more cooling?) twist! The fish is an oxidized iron fountain--currently invisible under 30 inches of snow--I should take a new pic!

Hi Tata--
Please, help yourself! Pasta is so easy and good, don't you think? :D

Hi Margot!
Thanks! Hope your week is going great!