Thursday, June 10, 2010

In the Kitchen: Jalapeño Lime Chicken Pasta

I'll start by saying that my photos of this dish don't quite do it justice. I'm usually racing against the setting sun (and my grumbling belly) when I make and shoot dinner dishes, plus pasta with a thin sauce is always a tough one to capture, so you'll just have to trust me when I say that it's a plate full of creamy deliciousness. A blend of yummy, fresh ingredients give this dish a unique kick and the use of lime juice really turns up the flavor eliminating the need for excess salt. Don't let the jalapeno scare you away, it's not that spicy, and you can cut back the quantity if desired. You can also make this dish meatless or swap out the veggies to suit your tastes. If you're looking for a new, unique pasta dish, definitely give this one a try.

Ingredients (about 4 servings)
8 oz uncooked spinach fettuccine
1/2 to 1lb boneless skinless chicken, cut into pieces
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
2 red or yellow bell peppers, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
4 Tablespoons lime juice (about 2 limes, divided use)
1 teaspoon garlic salt (divided use)
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup fat free evaporated milk
3/4 cup reserved water from fettuccine
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
freshly ground pepper

Cook the fettuccine according to the package directions and drain, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking water. If you can't find or don't like spinach fettuccine, use whole wheat.

Cut up the chicken, onion, jalapeno and red pepper and saute in a large skillet until the chicken is cooked through.

Add the chicken broth and 2 Tbsp lime juice. Saute for 5 - 10 minutes longer until most of the liquid has cooked away but the mixture is still moist.

Stir in 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt. Add the pasta to the skillet along with the evaporated milk, reserved cooking water, parmesan cheese, remaining 2 Tbsp lime juice and 1/2 tsp garlic salt and toss gently to combine. Give it a taste at this point and add additional lime juice or garlic salt if desired, but do note that with both flavors, a little goes a long way so add slowly.

Continue cooking a few minutes until the noodles are heated through and the liquid cooks down a bit. Add the chopped cilantro and a pinch of fresh ground pepper, serve and enjoy! Garnish with additional grated parmesan if desired.

It may look like this is a drier pasta dish, but there really is plenty of sauce to go around. Since it's thinner, it tends to sink to the bottom when you're sitting around snapping photos instead of gobbling it up, but I have found that serving it in a shallow bowl makes scooping creamy deliciousness with every bite a little bit easier.

And find more easy and delicious recipes here.

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