Weekly Winner: Beef Bolognese’s Elegant Blonde Sister

chicken bologneseBeef Bolognese is wonderful.  Hearty, meaty, slow-cooked goodness tossed with pasta… what’s not to like?  The thing is, it’s serious…weighty. It’s like that one guy at the party that’s just… well… a bit much.  Nice enough guy, well dressed and probably super smart, but just kind of weighs you down.  That’s why I’m so happy that Good Housekeeping Magazine introduced me to Beef Bolognese’s lighter, brighter, more elegant sister Chicken Bolognese.  The best part, unlike her slow-cooked brother, Chicken Bolognese is dressed and ready for the party in under 30 minutes!

Chicken Bolognese

Serves 4

Ingredients:

12 oz mezzi rigatoni

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb ground chicken

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 Tbsp grated lemon zest

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 Tbsp tarragon, chopped

1/4 cup chives, snipped

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Procedure:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Reserve 1 cup pasta water, drain and return to pot
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet on medium.  Add garlic and cook, stirring, until starting to sizzle, about 1 minute.
  3. Add chicken, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until almost cooked, about 4 minutes. Add wine and simmer until nearly evaporated.
  4. Add broth and toss to combine, then bring to a simmer.  Fold in lemon zest, cheese, and herbs.  Off heat, stir in butter to melt.
  5. Toss with rigatoni and 1/2 cup reserved pasta water, adding, more if pasta seems dry.  Top with additional Parmesan, if desired.

Weekly Winner: All Aboard the Buffalo Zucchini Boat Bandwagon!

zucchiniI’m not even sure where to begin with this recipe.  I thought my last entry was odd.  It honestly was nothing compared to this one.  I remember thinking when I saw the recipe for Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats “Wait, what? This doesn’t make any sense!  Who thinks up these things??” But something about it intrigued me and I could actually envision it working out.  I’m not sure why, but the thought the zucchini being stuffed with a buffalo-spiced chicken mixture was weird enough, that it just might… maybe… work out.

And it really did!  This is a super tasty, satisfying, amazingly easy dinner.  It feels indulgent and almost like a cheat meal since you’ve got buffalo sauce and cheese but actually it’s quite healthy.  The recipe for Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats comes from The Wholesome Dish blog which I discovered in a listing of 20 recipes using ground chicken (yeah, this is the kind of stuff I stay up nights looking at!).  Anyway, its crazy-easy — four ingredients! OK, full disclosure mine had 5 since I thought some chopped celery would be a nice addition as celery and buffalo wings go hand-in-hand.  It worked great but would be fine without it too.

Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 small to medium zucchini (about 1-1/4 pounds)

1 lb ground chicken

1/2 cup Buffalo Wing Sauce

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees.  Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and break it apart with a wooden spoon.  Cook for 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Remove the skillet from the heat.  Stir in the buffalo wing sauce
  4. As the chicken cooks, cut the zucchini in half, lengthwise.  Use a spoon to scoop the seeds and center out of each zucchini half, leaving a 1/4-inch thick zucchini boat.  Place the zucchini in the baking dish cut-side up.
  5. Spoon the chicken mixture into the zucchini boats.  Sprinkle the zucchini evenly with the cheese.
  6. Cover the baking dish with foil.  Bake for 35 minutes.