Pasta is my friend.
Not only do I count pasta in my circle of tasty pals, I value and revere its position as a power player in my arsenal of culinary weapons. I don't think I've ever had bad pasta- that wasn't over cooked. (Over cooked pasta is one of the Universe's sad tragedies. Not on the same level with floods or famine, but upsetting nonetheless.)
When I was first married in 1993, I took seriously what I saw as my responsibility as a wife: the job as household cook. Perhaps that was me and my uber-traditional way of thinking, but I still took the cooking bull by the horns. I bought subscriptions to several cooking magazines, picked up a handful of interesting cookbooks (which I still have), and watched Saturday morning PBS cooking shows religiously. My mother is a wonderful cook, and she shared her recipes with me, but in the 90s, there was a new push towards more interesting regional dishes, and healthier, more flavorful ideas; casseroles faded while stir-fries and lots of lighter pasta options took the spotlight.
One of my favorite magazines back then was Cooking Light. Unfortunately, like so many other things, the magazine took a different path as they gained popularity, drifting away from food, and focusing on exercise and lifestyle- 2 of my least favorite topics. Today's recipe is, I think, from an early 90s Cooking Light issue. Its hand-written by me on a scrap of yellow legal pad paper, but in the dusty corners of my mind, I recollect that I first saw it in Cooking Light.
Its a pretty basic idea, and I would probably dial up the lemon zest and hit it with a little more extra virgin olive oil (omega-3 benefits were only just being researched back then, and the trend was to eliminate all fat, which of course we now know is erroneous. I would also use full-fat cream cheese in place of the low fat listed in the recipe. Low fat or fat free food lives only in Satan's grocery store, and I avoid them at all costs). Enjoy and make it your own!
The Rediscovered Recipe Box #7- Lemon Chicken Pasta
1 TBSP olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 chicken breasts
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 TBSP low fat cream cheese
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1 pkg. green peas
salt to taste (& pepper)
farfalle for 2 (bow ties) I love that I didn't know what farfalle was back then...ah how things change!
1/8 tsp lemon zest
Saute the garlic in the oil. Cut chicken in 1/4 strips & saute it in the oil & garlic. Set aside. Pour in chicken broth, cream cheese, and saute until the cheese melts. Add the carrots and peas, chicken and cooked, drained pasta. Toss and serve.
As I copy this, I am chuckling. I was perhaps 27 or so when this recipe caught my attention. I do recall making this for my husband on several occasions, and its pretty darn tasty. My instructions, as they appear on the yellow legal pad seem to omit the zest; toss that in when you add the carrots and peas, and try to add a little more. A splash of lemon juice would be good too.