Fancy finals week pasta

Classy Cooking with Cassie

My thoughts on wine are best summed up by, It’s great if I’m already drunk because if I’m already making questionable life decisions, I might as well keep the trend going. The only time my apartment contains wine is when I’m cooking beef stew. (My secret? 1 bottle: 1 pot).

But I know you.

It’s finals week. You want to celebrate the fact that the term is almost over. You want to enjoy yourself. You want to treat yourself, as well you should. It has been a long, cold winter (though my New England roots laugh), and you are so very close to the end.

It’s Sunday afternoon or Wednesday night or Thursday morning, and you and your girls each bring a bottle of wine to your apartment. In the morning you wake up and discover that you have half of a bottle left.

Well, let’s pretend you do. Let’s pretend that you fell asleep before finishing off your purchase from that 3 for $20 sale that Safeway had going.

You’ve got a limited pantry and some wine. What better way to fuel up for your 8 a.m. Orgo final tomorrow than a fancy (but easy, and one pot) pasta dish while you go over your notes?

Ingredients list:
—Olive oil
—Flour-coated chicken, cubed. (I used skin-on thighs here. For a vegetarian-friendly meal, remove the chicken. If you want to use tempeh, tofu, or another plant-based protein, add these in during the last couple minutes of cooking time.)
—Shallot (or onion)
—8oz. pasta (Half of a standard box. I used linguine, but whatever you have on hand will do.)
—1-ish c. Red wine (Whatever you have on hand will do; I used a Cabernet)
—1c. vegetable stock
—1c. water.
—1 bay leaf
—Basil (3–4 leaves plus more for garnish)

*(I could tell you how much garlic to use in this recipe. But I’m not going to. Because the truth is while I should tell you to add one clove, or the equivalent in powder, what I really want to tell you is to use four. So go ahead, add as much motherloving garlic as your taste buds desire. I abide by the rule that I cannot trust any potential partner if they are not down for garlic and stinky cheese on dates. Bring on the gorgonzola pizza. Life is too short. Buy a breath mint. Never deny yourself these pleasures.)

In one pot:

Sear the chicken on medium-high heat in a little bit of olive oil. Don’t worry about it cooking all the way through. Just enough to get some color. (If you’re going the veggie route, skip this step). Remove from the pot and add in the minced shallot and garlic for a couple of minutes on medium heat.

Next, add the chicken back in, and combine with the rest of the ingredients. Let the liquid come to a boil before reducing to a low boil and cooking for as long as the pasta requires. Sometimes this might take a little bit longer if you have added in too much liquid. Not to worry! Continue cooking at a simmer until the liquid reduces to a sauce. Remove the bay leaf.

Plate by sprinkling with some fresh basil and parmesan (Treat yourself: Buy the good stuff. Don’t settle for the green can.)

Makes enough for two hungry students battling hangovers and needing to carbo-load (or keep the darkness at bay. You know. Whichever you need to do.)