Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Farfalle with Chicken, Cremini Mushrooms and Swiss Chard

So it was back to Giada for my Wednesday Dinner Night inspiration.

Let me tell you what happened.  I was meandering through Target, because I often meander through Target, and I picked up her new cookbook, Giada’s Feel Good Food: My Healthy Recipes and Secrets.  

I thought maybe the book would explain how she stays so fit eating all the food she prepares.

Anyway, I did not buy the book then but I did order the Kindle edition.  However, as I was paging through the bound version in Target, I saw a recipe for Farfalle with Chicken, Cremini Mushrooms and Swiss Chard.  It calls for mascarpone cheese and I immediately decided what I would make for the ladies.

Mascarpone is like cream cheese, only dressed-up for prom. 

It is prom season so I thought that was an appropriate analogy.

Mascarpone is a smooth, creamy, slightly sweet cheese, and is the kissing-cousin of butter.  It is similar to clotted cream and Crème Fraiche and is made with whole cream and citric or tartaric acid, used as a thickener. This smooth and creamy cheese is the main ingredient in the Italian classic dessert, Tiramisu but is also fantastic stirred it into risottos or slathered on toast drizzled with honey.   You can also substitute Mascarpone for ricotta cheese in your favorite recipes. 

This recipe calls for chard but I was craving arugula and used that instead.  I don’t think it held up as well as the chard would have, but it was tasty nonetheless.  I also used thyme from my garden and fresh mushrooms from the mushroom capital of the world, Kennett Square, PA. This quaint little town hosts a wildly popular Mushroom Festival each year! 

Although this recipe calls for boneless chicken breast, this would be delicious with chicken sausage too!

Farfalle with Chicken, Cremini Mushrooms and Swiss Chard
By:  Giada De Laurentis

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, sliced
1 pound cremini mushrooms sliced
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons of fresh thyme, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
12 ounces of Swiss chard, with stems removed and sliced
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
3/4 pound farfalle pasta
2 cups of diced cooked chicken
1 cup of reserved pasta water

In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the shallots and the mushrooms and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.  Add the wine, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Simmer until the wine has mostly evaporated, about 3 minutes.  Pour in the broth and bring to a simmer.  In batches, add the chard and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.  Season with the remaining salt and pepper.  Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Mascarpone.

Cook the pasta and transfer to a large bowl.  Add the chicken and mushroom sauce with a bit of the pasta water to loosen the mixture, if needed.  Toss until the ingredients are coated.  

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