One thing I’ve been trying to do is become more organized. It was the underlying reason that my early retirement to-do list was topped with items like, Organize and backup wedding photos, Inventory pantry and deep freezer, and Clean out guest room closet. Actually, my lack of organization pretty much was the reason there was a to-do list in the first place.
I’m a little bit of chaos and a lot of funny, rolled into one. The ability to fire a witty comeback or find innuendo in the most innocent of comments doesn’t make up for the fact that I misplaced my running shoes for a week. Or the fact that I spend 5 minutes every single day hunting down my “lost” car keys. So maybe it’s a lot of chaos and a little bit of funny… after all, we’re probably never as funny as we think we are
If you’ve ever seen me move around the kitchen, you know that it doesn’t just stop with keys and shoes. When I’m done cooking, it looks like my kitchen cabinets exploded. Pots, pans, mixing bowls, several cutting boards, every wooden spoon and spatula in the house strewn about. Pure chaos. And two dishwasher loads later, it’s time for bed.
Perhaps I can claim illness? Maybe I suffer from CCS, Culinary Chaos Syndrome. Maybe I should seek out a support group for my symptoms:
I usually cannot blame my messiness on a recipe or methodology. True, some are more involved than others, but mostly it’s all me. Looking back, I can usually pinpoint each misstep along the way – and there’s plenty of opportunity for reflection, waiting on the dishwasher to finish so I can run a second load.
But when a dish is as tasty as tonight’s dinner was, there’s no debating over whether it was worth the extra load of dishes or not. Because it was. And the best part? There are enough leftovers for 2 more nights.
Linguine with Chicken, Artichokes, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
A creamy, hearty one-bowl pasta dinner.
- 1lb linguine
- 2 chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
- Sea salt & cracked black pepper
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 14.5 oz can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
- 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, diced
- 1 14.5 oz crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup chicken broth, more as needed
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for garnish
- 2 Tbsp chopped basil, plus additional for garnish
- 1 Tbsp chopped parsley, plus additional for garnish
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain (reserving 1/2 cup pasta water) and place in a large bowl.
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large sauce pan until hot. Liberally salt and pepper the sides of the chicken and place in the pan to sear. Flip when the chicken gets nice and browned, 3-4 minutes each side. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.
- Add remaining olive oil and butter to pan. Add onions and red pepper flakes to pan and cook until the onions are translucent, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
- Slice the chicken breasts into strips. Add chicken, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and crushed tomatoes to the pan. Stir and cook for 8-10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in cream and chicken broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until heated through, and then remove from heat.
- Pour sauce over the top of the pasta. Toss with the Parmesan, basil, and parsley until coated. Add a couple of splashes of pasta water - or if you forget to reserve it, some chicken broth - if you need to thin the sauce a bit.
Yields: 6 servings
Estimated time: 30 minutes