My inspiration for cooking can come from a variety of things. Sometimes I get inspired by having a dish from a restaurant that I’ve never had before and try to replicate it at home. Sometimes inspiration comes from recipes I may see on television. I mostly get inspired by the certain items I see in the grocery store or farmer's market.
Sometimes I fail at the outcome of what I’m making and sometimes I succeed. I just like to try new things and expand my horizons when it comes to testing new ingredients or cooking methods. James, my fiancé is a great guinea pig. He will generally eat whatever I make and is honest about how the food tastes. Unlike James, I myself am much more critical about how my food turns out.
1 Large skinless/boneless chicken breast
3 c. Raw spinach leaves
3 c. Dry penne pasta
2 Vine ripe tomatoes
1 Whole head of garlic
1/4 c. Greek plain non-yogurt
1/2 t. Garlic powder
1/2 t. Onion powder
1 t. Crushed red pepper
1 t. Italian seasoning
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1 c. Shredded mozzarella
Salt and pepper
Serving Size: 4
Preheat oven to 425*.
Wash spinach leaves and set aside.
In a small oven safe dish, add 1/4 c. olive oil. Cut the top of the head of garlic so some of the cloves are exposed but still remain in tact with the skin. Place the garlic head that is cut side, faced down into olive oil.
Wash and core tomatoes. Cut into quarters. In a medium oven safe dish, add 1/4 cup of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
Roast both in the oven for 25 minutes.
In a skillet, pan fry whole chicken breast on medium heat. Brown on each side (3 minutes per side) and then cover to allow the chicken to cook all the way through, about 15 minutes. Once cooked, remove from pan and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes. Once cooled and well rested, slice chicken into bite size pieces and set aside.
In a large pasta pot, bring about 8 quarts of water to a boil. Add salt. Cook pasta until it is 3/4 of the way cooked and remove from water and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Once removed from water, add parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and a drizzle of olive oil to keep from sticking together. Mix together until well combined and set aside.
Remove tomatoes and garlic from oven and lower oven temperature to 375*.
Remove garlic from hot oil and allow to cool for a few minutes before handling. Once cooled, remove cloves from skin and directly into a blender. It should be soft and mushy.
Add the roasted tomatoes to the blender and the rest of the olive oil that the garlic was roasting in. Add greek yogurt, italian seasoning and puree until smooth.
Add sauce, chicken and raw spinach to penne and mix until well combined.
Transfer pasta into a large casserole dish, top with mozzarella cheese and bake until cheese is melted and slightly brown, about 30-45 minutes.
Allow dish to cool after removing from the oven for 10 minutes before plating.
Cook Time 1.5 hours
This recipe was made by found ingredients left in my refrigerator and my pantry. This is my favorite type of cooking. I’ve never made this before and it turned out great!
(Stiff is an amateur home cook and food blogger. Stiff can be found at a grocery store, Instagram @stifferoni and Tumblr: http://stiffers.tumblr.com/.)
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