I have recently picked up the “Cooking for Two 2012” magazine, which is filled with many wonderful recipes that have been,
not reinvented so much as restructured, as many of us are looking for somewhat healthier and scaled down cooking these days.
The magazine is from the editors of “Cooks Illustrated” still one of the most beautiful cooking magazines available, and this one is overflowing with inspiration.
I am offering this one with a nod to Eduardo. Serves 2
1 (8 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon jarred sliced hot cherry peppers, chopped fine, plus 2 tablespoons cherry pepper brine
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 14.5 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes (use garden fresh if you have them)
4 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
4 ounces (1 1/2 cups) rigatoni
1 ounce Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
1. Combine chicken, 1 tablespoon cherry pepper brine, 2 teaspoons oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a zipper lock bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to 1 hour. Pulse tomatoes in food processor until coarsely chopped and no large pieces remain — about 6 pulses.
2 Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Stir in mushrooms, bell pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook until browned, 8-10 minutes. Transfer vegetables to bowl; set aside. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and onion to skillet and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in cherry peppers, garlic and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Add processed tomatoes, cream, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is very thick, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in chicken and reserved vegetables, cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Off heat, add remaining 1 tablespoon cherry pepper brine and olives. Cover to keep warm.
4. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain pasta and return it to the pot. Add sauce and Pecorino to pasta and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add reserved cooking water as needed to adjust consistency.