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Classic Barilla® pasta is given a bistro-style makeover with fresh spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and lemon chicken.
There’s a pair of adages about craftsmen and chefs, and they run roughly that “The craftsman’s house is the last to be repaired,” while a lesser known version runs that “The chef often dines upon leftovers.”
Despite my schedule being full largely of food related items, I’ve found that the meals I enjoy the most are the ones that allow me to take the proverbial ‘breath’ – a meal that is as much for my ‘soul’ as it is for my palette. In the movie Burnt, one of the scenes I related to the most was the ‘family style’ meal that the chefs put together for themselves at the end of a long day spent cooking for other people – a moment to recharge, unwind, and enjoy something plainly delicious.
For such meals, I often find myself drawing inspiration from the family meals of my youth, and of course from the range of old classics that withstand the withering caress of time. These don’t necessarily need to be ‘simple’ meals, or ‘easy’ to put together – sometimes just the opposite, in fact. Instead, sometimes the process of cooking for myself, and my ‘crew,’ is a form of relaxation in itself.
For example, last week we were rushing to put a post together, this was on the heels of doing the same the previous night. When the evening came, I found that I really just wanted to sit down with an LTG-version of ‘comfort food.’ One of the essentials I keep on hand for precisely this sort of meal is Barilla®
Now, what do I consider comfort food? Let’s start with my penchant for sun dried tomatoes. The ever mysterious ‘they’ say that everything is better with sunshine, and I find that there are few cases of that being truer than with tomatoes that have absorbed a copious amount of Sol’s life giving rays. Garlic, of course, since I’ve found precious few dishes worth eating without it. Parmesan cheese, olive, and lemon juice, must make an appearance, of course, since those are key’s to my favored flavor profile.
Thus, to start things off, I prepared the Classic Barilla® Classic Blue Box as directed. Then I prepared a marinade of fresh lemon juice, garlic, grated Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil. To this, in a large bowl, I added fresh baby spinach, and then set the cooked pasta over the spinach as shown below.
This, however, was not yet comforting enough. I sliced a pound of chicken breast thinly, and marinated that in fresh lemon juice, garlic, parmesan, and olive oil before grilling them on my griddle as shown below. Once I had added that to the pasta, my weeknight ‘comfort food’ was ready to melt away the stress of a long day.
What are some of your favorite recipes for when you need to unwind? We would absolutely love to hear from you.
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Enjoy with Love!