You know what I love about this dish? Everything! It’s easy to prepare. It’s an all in one dish! You can use whatever vegetables you like! It’s colorful and looks great when serving to guests! Most of all, it is delicious!
We wanted to highlight this recipe because all of the vegetables used will soon be growing in Nonno’s garden. Asparagus and rapini are some of the first to appear. The tomatoes in this dish were dried in the fall and have been preserved in the freezer and the garlic have been stored in the cantina. Stay tuned for a soon to be post when the asparagus is growing wild and in abundance. We hope to capture photos of the major finds and hauls by some of our featured nonnos! They won’t disclose their secret picking locations however!
We like to add chicken to the recipe but you can substitute with shrimp if you like or add more vegetables.
Don’t forget lots of freshly grated parmesan cheese. It finishes the dish!
Thanks to Nonna Caterina and Nonno Giovanni for this recipe and a wonderful, educational lunch. We enjoyed learning (and laughing) about the anatomy of chickens and when and why they need a rooster:)
- 1 small bunch of broccoli (washed and cut into bite size pieces)
- 1 bunch of rapini (washed and cut using only the tender parts)
- 1 cup sundried tomatoes thinly sliced
- 1 bunch of asparagus cleaned and cut into bite size pieces
- 3 chicken breast halves
- 6 whole garlic cloves peeled
- chili flakes (optional)
- salt and black pepper
- 1 tsp dried parsely flakes
- 1/2 cup olive oil + more for sautéing vegetables and chicken
- 1 package (454gm) pasta (we like penne)
- Boil the broccoli florets slightly in salted water to preferred doneness (do not overcook)
- Do the same for the rapini pieces.
- Sauté the tomato pieces slightly (couple of minutes) in about 1 tsp olive oil
- Saute the asparagus pieces slightly to desired doneness (or can microwave). Season with salt and chili flakes if desired.
- Cut the chicken into 1"X 2" pieces. Season with salt and pepper and dried parsley. Saute the seasoned chicken pieces in olive oil until completely cooked through.
- Add the whole garlic cloves to the 1/2 cup olive oil in a small pot and when the garlic begin to colour remove from the oil and set aside both the garlic cloves and the oil.
- While you are preparing the vegetables, boil water to cook the pasta. Don't forget to salt the water!
- Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package or to the desired firmness.
- When cooked, save 2 cups of the pasta water then drain the pasta.
- Add the cooked pasta and all of the other ingredients to a large serving bowl or platter. Mix everything together gently with wooden spoons.
- Add the garlic flavoured oil and mix gently again to coat everything. If you feel it needs more moisture, add the reserved pasta water a little at a time, mixing after each addition until it is to your liking.
- Add the parmesan cheese and again toss to mix.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.
- Freshly chopped parsley sprinkled right before serving is a nice addition and some like to put in the whole cooked garlic cloves.