I woke up this morning and I had this grand idea for dinner - ricotta gnocchi tossed with brown butter, grilled lemon-parsley chicken and an arugula and heirloom tomato salad. Yum! Thus, I transferred the ricotta to a mesh to drain all the fluid; I then flattened/pounded a couple of chicken breasts and marinated it in lemon juice, minced garlic and chopped parsley from my garden; and lastly, checked to make sure I still have the arugula and heirloom tomatoes I got from the market the other day -- check! But then again, dinner doesn't always come out as planned. I ended up running errands, and by the time I finished running errands, I was too pooped to make the gnocchi or light the grill. Worst, my tomatoes are too ripe for salad, but I need to use them anyhow or I will end up wasting them. Thus, I had to improvise dinner and still integrate the ingredients, which wasn't as grand as originally planned, but quite as tasty in the end.
Macaroni with Lemon Parsley Chicken Breast and Heirloom Tomatoes
1 T olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 lb macaroni, cooked al dente
Lemon-Parsley Chicken, cut into bite size pieces
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
parmigiano-regianno cheese, grated for serving
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, flattened
juice from one lemon
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T flat leaf parsley
freshly ground black pepper
Mix everything in a ziploc bag then marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Oven Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes
1 lb mixed heirloom tomatoes
olive oil for drizzling sea salt
Set your oven temperature to broil. When ready, broil the chicken pieces, 10 minutes on each side. Set aside and let it rest before cutting into bite pieces. In a cast iron pan, broil the heirloom tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with sea salt for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta "al dente" per package instruction, about 7 to 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat an enameled cast iron pan and heat the olive oil. Add onion and garlic, cook until caramelized but not brown. Add the tomatoes, mash to release the juices. Add the ricotta cheese, macaroni and the chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Mix to coat everything with the sauce then remove from heat.
Serve with grated parmigiano-reggiano and with arugula tossed with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and parmigiano-reggiano.