Lighter Side of Italian: Chicken or Fish Piccata and Thin Spaghetti with Asparagus, Green Beans and Peas
Rach creates her version of an Italian classic piccata with a delicate Meyer lemon wine sauce with capers that accents pasta and veggies as well as fish or chicken cutlets.
- 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 pound thin green beans, cut in half on an angle
- Salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast cutlets (halve chicken breasts horizontally and pound out to 1/8-inch thickness) or 4 pieces firm, thin, white-fleshed sustainable fish, such as tilapia filets
- Flour, for dredging
- A sprinkle of poultry seasoning or ground thyme (for chicken) or Old Bay Seasoning (for fish)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/2 pound thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 4 Meyer lemons or 3 small organic lemons, divided
- 3 tablespoons capers
- 1 cup dry, crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup green peas
- Torn basil or tarragon, for garnish
Pre-heat the oven to 200°F.
Blanch the asparagus tips and green beans in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes, then cold shock and drain. Reserve.
Bring a large pot of water to boil for pasta. Place a serving platter in the oven to warm.
Season the chicken cutlets or fish fillets with salt and pepper and dredge in flour seasoned with poultry seasoning or Old Bay. Heat 2 tablespoons EVOO and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the chicken or fish until lightly golden on each side, 8 minutes. Transfer to a warm platter.
Cook the pasta to al dente in salted water.
Add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter to the skillet and melt. Add the garlic and shallot; sauté for 2-3 minutes. Slice one lemon and add it to the skillet along with the juice of a second lemon. Add the capers and stir for a minute more; add the wine and reduce a for minute, then add the stock and parsley. Simmer to thicken a bit, then spoon half of the sauce over the chicken or fish and cover with foil. Add the peas to the remaining sauce, the juice of remaining lemon and the asparagus, beans and drained pasta. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve the cutlets with the vegetable and lemon pasta alongside, garnished with a few leaves of basil or tarragon.