Friday, September 14, 2007

Jazzed Up Vodka Penne with Chicken

This is my version of Vodka Penne. I used a Vodka sauce from the jar, but if you want to make your own that would be even more fabulous! As I was cooking, I just started throwing ingredients into the sauce...whatever looked good to me at the time. I was suprised at how delicious it ended up being! So, use whatever you have in the fridge that you like, and make it your own! *For the black olives, I used some really great oil cured olives that I brought home from Italy. Obviously, you may not have these, so just use good black olives...remove the pitts of course! Just, please, don't use those tasteless little black olive slices from can...just not the same! Also, make sure you always salt the water when boiling pasta. That's really the only chance you have to season the pasta. I served this dish with a fresh artichoke with melted butter for dipping.

What you'll need:
1 jar Bertolli Vodka Sauce (or homemade)
2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
Olive Oil, for cooking
Penne Pasta (I used about half a box)
Italian Seasoning
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Galic Powder
1/2 jar of sliced mushrooms
2 tsp. capers
Black Olives
Freshly grated Parmesean
EVOO, for drizzling

What you'll do:
Cook Penne until almost done
Season the chicken chunks with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and italian seasoning. Sautee them in some olive oil until no longer pink.
Pour the Vodka Sauce over the chicken.
Add the capers, mushrooms, and olives. Stir to combine and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add the (somewhat undercoooked) Penne to the sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes or so until the pasta is "al dente" meaning "to the tooth", firm but not hard....definitley not mushy!
Once you plate the dish, drizzle on some good EVOO and sprinkle fresh parm over the top!