I really enjoy Italian food. You probably have guessed that by now considering the number of Italian dishes I have discussed on my blog. All week long, I have had a yearning for some tasty Italian without too much fuss. I wanted it to consist of thin chicken breasts, breaded and sautéed. I wanted to include prosciutto. I also wanted to make some pasta and give my first try at a homemade alfredo sauce. Tonight’s tasty dinner was the result of my wish list and a lot of luck.
Earlier today, I used the Epicurious app on my iPhone to look up Fettucine Alfredo. It turns out the ingredients are literally butter, parmesan cheese, pasta water, and a half cup of heavy cream. So, obviously it’s not a pasta sauce for every day eating and my arteries are a little more clogged tonight, but come on, that’s a simple ingredient list!
I allowed my nearly two year old to help me bread the very thin sliced chicken breasts I had picked up at the grocery store earlier this week. It was a fun project for him and though it was quite a mess when we were through, the chicken was ready for my large pan with swirls of hot olive oil and crushed garlic. To bread the chicken, I dipped each piece in flour, then egg, and finally a coating of Italian flavored panko bread crumbs.
I brought a saucepan of heavily salted water to a boil and added the “sea shells” pasta I had on hand. I don’t care too much about pasta shapes, but I do prefer smaller noodles to long ones, especially when serving my son. The pasta cooked for 11 minutes. Meanwhile I cut up 4 pieces of prosciutto from the grocery deli. I let them saute in the pan with the olive oil and garlic for a few minutes. Then I pushed them to the sides of the pan and added the chicken. It is a big pan, probably 14″ in diameter and 2″ deep. I added salt and pepper to the chicken as I let it cook.
I turned on the oven to 325 and slid in a ceramic serving bowl that had 5 tbsps of butter cut into pieces. When the pasta finished, I pulled out 1/2 cup of the pasta water and set it aside. Then I drained the pasta. By this time, I had checked on the chicken and the butter had melted in my serving bowl. I pulled it out of the oven and added the hot, drained pasta to the bowl. Then I added the 1/2 cup of cream and 6oz of parmesan cheese, already shredded. I tossed for a bit, then added the reserved pasta water. Some of it globbed on the spoon, but most of it was a beautiful sauce. I added salt and pepper and tossed until the pasta was completely covered.
The chicken finished cooking. It was very crispy and the juices were running clear. I pulled each piece out with tongs and added the prosciutto right on top for serving.
Dinner was delicious, albeit a little off. I totally forgot to make the light tossed salad I had planned to go with it. Not a disaster, but it would have completed the meal. I will definitely make this again. Next time, I plan to add some basil to the pasta for a little more flavor!