Friday, February 8, 2008

Chicken Breast Topped With Pesto Parmesan Crunch

This is really yummy and a great dish when you are hosting a party.

Enough chicken breasts for the crowd
2 or more cloves of garlic, crushed
diced tomatoes
grated Parmesan cheese
enough olive oil to slightly coat the bread crumbs
stale sourdough bread, crumbled in a food processor
Italian herbs like basil, oregano, rosemary, salt and pepper

Precook the chicken breasts briefly by either grilling or pan-frying them a couple of minutes. Mix the garlic, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, herbs, olive oil in a bowl. Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet and cover them with a light coating of mustard and the bread crumble mix. Shortly before it's time to serve bake them for 10-15 minutes until the topping is toasty and golden.
Serve with pasta or rice and a salad.

Terrific Creamy Italian Sausage Tomato Sauce with Fettuccini

This is a favorite of family and guests. Its based on a recipe from Simply Recipes - a really nice food blog.

2 Tbsp olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 pound spicy or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
(or 1 pound regular pork sausage and Italian spices)
1 cup whipping cream
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice
1 big red bell pepper, cut in strips
1 Tbsp dried sage
3/4 pound fettuccine
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add sausages and sauté until no longer pink, breaking up the sausages a bit, about 5 minutes. Add cream; simmer 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices. Add sage. Add bell pepper. Simmer until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
2 Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
3 Return pasta to same pot; add sauce. Toss over medium heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if mixture is dry. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl; sprinkle with cheese and serve.
Serves 6.