If you only looked at the ingredient list and ignored the instructions, you’d probably be lost.
While the components that make up any dish are obviously essential, it is the treatment of each ingredient that brings a recipe to new heights. That is certainly the case here.
In this fun and flavorful dinner, the pasta is whole wheat, which besides adding healthy nutrients, also provides a nuttiness and extra flavor boost, The shape – linguine is long and flat – gives it plenty of surface area for absorbing sauce. The chicken breasts are pounded thin before being grilled, which allows them to cook evenly and develop a nice crust. Adding char marks to the zucchini adds some color and “grilled” flavor, while slicing the baby corn up helps in integrate better in to the dishes.
Take a look at your favorite recipe now: How could you add some flavor boosts? Toast nuts before using? Cook grains in stock instead of water? Sear meat before using in a stew? There is always room for improvement.
Recipe: Serves 4-6
2/3 box whole wheat linguine – about 12 ounces
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
1 large zucchini
2 teaspoons oil
10 ounces mushrooms, diced
1 medium onion, diced
½ cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1 can baby corn
Salt and pepper
Cook the pasta according to recipe directions and set aside.
Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken, and grill (in a tabletop grill or a stovetop grill pan) until cooked through, about 5 minutes a side.
Slice the zucchini into long, thin strips, and grill those until grill marks appear.
Heat the oil in a medium pan or large skillet on high. Add the onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on the edges, about 8 minutes.
While the onions are browning, gently shred the chicken breasts: use two forks to pull apart the meat until it forms strands and chunks.
Add in diced mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally about 5 to 7 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium-low, and add in the stock and tamari. Add in the cooked pasta, tossing to combine with the sauce and vegetables (tongs will help this process). Let cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and pour in to a large bowl. Add the zucchini and chicken.
Drain the baby corn and slice the stalks in half and add to the bowl.
Toss everything to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.