Pasta Primavera with Chicken
Gremalota-topped pasta mixed with chicken, fresh herbs and veggies makes for a light and lovely meal.
For the chicken:
- 1 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast (a full breast with 2 breasts attached, about 2-2 1/2 pounds)
- 1 medium onion, cut into quarters
- 1 small lemon, sliced
- 1 carrot, cut into quarters
- 2 ribs celery, cut into quarters
- 2 large bay leaves
- A small bundle of parsley, thyme and rosemary
For the pasta primavera:
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 small or 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks
- 1 small zucchini, trimmed and cut into 2-inch matchsticks
- 1 large or 2 small leek, trimmed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on an angle or chopped into matchsticks, washed and dried
- 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
- Salt and white pepper or finely ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock (poaching liquid)
- 1 box frozen peas, defrosted
- 1 pound egg tagliatelle
- A handful of parsley, thyme leaves and rosemary, very finely chopped
- 1 lemon
- Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, for topping
To poach the chicken, place the chicken, onion, lemon, carrot, celery, bay leaves and herb bundle in a pot. Cover the chicken with water and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain and reserve the poaching liquids; cool the chicken to handle. Remove the skin and bones, then pull the meat into thin, bite-size pieces.
For the pasta, heat the EVOO, one turn of the pan, with the butter over medium heat. Add the carrots, zucchini, leeks and garlic; season with salt and white pepper and sauté to tender, 6-7 minutes. Sprinkle the veggies with flour and stir for a minute more. Deglaze the pan with wine, then stir in 2 cups of the reserved poaching liquid. Thicken to lightly coat a spoon; add in the chicken and peas and reduce the heat to low.
Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Add salt and cook the pasta to al dente. Drain and toss with the chicken and sauce, adding an additional 1/2 cup poaching liquid if the pasta gets too tight.
Zest the lemon and combine with the finely chopped herbs. Juice the lemon into the pasta and serve in shallow bowls topped with the gremolata and some cheese.