Weekly Winner: Big Bowl of Brothy Goodness

brothy pastaI’m one of those weird people that won’t eat soup during warm weather.  Yeah, I’ll do the occasional gazpacho but basically, soup for me is off the menu from around Memorial Day to Labor Day.  Which is why I’m totally thrilled by the cooler weather here in Chicago — it means once again, “Soup’s On”!!

This recipe for Brothy Pasta with Chickpeas is soul-satisfying.  There’s a rich tomato broth, plenty of pasta, hearty chickpeas and just enough cheese to make me happy.  It’s quick, easy and is a great way to use up the various pasta “odds and ends” you have in the pantry.  The recipe comes from Bon Appetit and will be making a regular appearance on our table (now that summer is officially over)!

Brothy Pasta With Chickpeas

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • 1 cup whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 6 oz. orecchiette or other short pasta
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
  • 3 Tbsp. finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Procedure:

  1. Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add onion and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onion and garlic are both very soft and just beginning to brown around the edges, 5–6 minutes longer. Add rosemary and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chickpeas and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are slightly thickened, 6–8 minutes.

  2. Add pasta and 4 cups water. Increase heat to medium-high, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent pasta from sticking, until pasta is al dente, 13–16 minutes depending on shape. Stir in parsley and 3 Tbsp. Parmesan; season with salt.

  3. Divide brothy pasta between bowls. Drizzle with more oil and top with Parmesan and black pepper.

Weekly Winner: All Rise for Arroz Con Pollo

Arroz con polloIt seems every cuisine has their take on chicken and rice.  It’s just good, wholesome comfort food regardless of how it is prepared, or what else is included in the dish.  Perhaps the interpretation that I am most familiar with is the Mexican Arroz con Pollo.  This, is not that version.

I recently found this recipe for Spanish Arroz con Pollo in Cuisine at Home magazine.  The Serrano Ham, sherry, saffron and smoked paprika give this Arroz con Pollo its “flamenco flair”.  If there’s such a thing as a “Classy Casserole”…. this is it.

Arroz Con Pollo

Serves 8

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil

3 oz Serrano ham, diced

2 cups diced yellow onion

2 Tbsp minced fresh garlic

2 dried bay leaves

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp crumbled saffron threads

1/2 cup dry sherry

2-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 15-oz can diced tomatoes in juice, well drained

1 lb chopped cooked chicken

1 cup medium-grain rice, rinsed and drained

2/3 cup chopped pimento-stuffed green olives

1 jar sliced pimentos (4 oz) drained

1 cup frozen green peas

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 Tbsp. slivered almonds, toasted

1 Tbsp chopped orange zest

Procedure:

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Heat oil in a pot over medium until shimmering; add ham and cook until crisp, then transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
  • Add onions, garlic, bay leaves, paprika, and saffron to oil; sweat, covered, over medium heat, until onions soften, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, increase heat to high.
  • Deglaze pot with sherry, scraping up any brown bits, then reduce until nearly evaporated, 5 minutes.  Stir in broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil.
  • Stir in chicken, rice, olives, and pimentos; season with salt and pepper, then return to a boil.  Immediately transfer mixture to a 9×13-inch baking dish, cover with foil, and transfer to the oven.
  • Bake casserole, covered, 25 minutes.  Remove foil, stir in peas and ham and bake 10 minutes more.
  • Combine parsley, almonds, and zest; sprinkle over Arroz con Pollo.