This is a pasta recipe for one. One with leftovers. While I don’t usually cook for just myself, I was on my own the other night and wanted something comforting.
When I’m sad, I want carbs. Simple as that.
Like big bowls of pasta.
Don’t under estimate the power of carbs. And a hug. These two things are sure to turn my frown upside down.
I came across some pictures of my mother-in-law the other day and I got a pain in my heart. She passed away on Christmas day almost two years ago just days before my youngest son was born.
Dorothy had Multiple Scelrosis. She suffered for as long as I’d known her and many years before that. Before getting sick she was an avid skier and tennis player. Rumor has it she was a bit of a dancing machine as well. Unfortunately she had to stop doing so many of the things she loved due to the dibiitating disease. While most people might choose to bury under the covers and live in a state of depression, Dorothy was quite the opposite. She choose to make the best of her situation and still found joy in just about everything she did.
Whenever she would come visit, which wasn’t often, I would cook for her. And when I say cook, I mean cook. We would eat three (or more) square meals a day. Although she wasn’t much of a cook herself, she loved to eat. And when I say she loved to eat, she didn’t eat a lot. But man she appreciated each bite. She’d close her eyes with a napkin tucked into her shirt no less and let out a little sigh of pleasure when she’d taste something she really loved. And I love nothing more than to cook for someone who really loves to eat. We were a match made in little piggy heaven. She’d often refer to herself as a little piggy after we’d polish off a great meal. And not in self deprecating way but with a smile and sense of satisfaction.
She used to call the house pretty frequently. And often in the morning. Early in the morning. It would drive my husband mad. It made me smile. So when she knew Pete was out of town she’d make a point to call everyday. Its like she just knew that I needed to hear a familiar and loving voice. Sometimes we’d talk about the kids or my husband but a lot of the time we talked about what books we were reading and what great food we’d had recently. Somehow it always came back to the food.
So in my ode to my mother-in-law and make myself feel a teensy bit better, I made pasta.
Nothing fancy, just sort of threw together what I had on hand. I had some leftover basil pesto, a half pint of cherry tomatoes, and a few chicken breasts. In the time the fettucini boiled, dinner was ready. It came together perfectly creating a light summer pasta bursting with flavor.
I sat out on my deck watching the sunset and filled my belly with carbs and memories of a woman who loved to eat.
Fettucini with Chicken, Cherry Tomatoes, and Basil Pesto
- 4 oz fettucini or other dried pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons diced sweet white onion
- a large handful cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup basil pesto
- salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook fettucini following manufacturers instructions on back of box. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large saute pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook over medium to medium-high heat until cooked all the way through about 5 minutes each side. Remove from pan. Dice chicken into pieces. Turn heat to low and add onion and garlic. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Add a spash of white wine or water to saute pan and use a spatula to scrape any brown pieces on bottom of pan. Return chicken to pan and add tomatoes. Cook 1-2 minutes. Add cooked fettucini and pesto. Stir to heat through. Season with salt and pepper.Serve.