Pasta and Chicken in Light Gorgonzola Sauce

I'm beginning to wrap up the theme of the past month or so that focuses on my advice to "Use Good Recipes from Reliable Sources" You may have seen this recipe last year, when I published an article titled "My Friend Jennifer Wouldn't Eat This Dish". Luckily the dish she wouldn't eat was something from Bon Appetit magazine not mine. This recipe was the antidote to the mess that BA created for Jenn's family. 

The key to this recipe is that there's nothing complicated about it. However, it takes one step in the next direction I'll focus on for the next month or two - ingredient selection. Notice that there is a very specific recommendation on sundried tomatoes in the recipe below. Also, it calls for shallot, not onion. If you were to use a little bit of onion it would turn out....OK. But shallot is an important part of this dish, and a very important ingredient for better cooking. 

I shouldn't get too far ahead of myself here......the ingredient discussion will start in earnest start next week. Enjoy this dish as winter gives way to spring. 

Pasta and Chicken in Light Gorgonzola Sauce
1 slice pancetta, approx. 1/4" thick, or 5-6 slices of prosciutto, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (NOT packed in oil), sliced into thin strips
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1 pound pasta
1 shallot, chopped finely
4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1/2 cup chicken stock or white wine
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, or other fresh herbs
  1. Cook pasta while sauteeing the chicken and making the sauce. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid if pasta is done before the sauce has been completed.
  2. Slice prosciutto or pancetta in thin strips. Add to skillet over medium-high heat with a tiny drizzle of olive oil. Saute until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  3. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts, then saute in olive oil, about 3 minutes per side, 4 minutes if very thick. Remove and cover with foil.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan, add the shallot, garlic and sun dried tomato slices. Saute for 2 min.
  5. Add the stock or wine and bring to a boil. Add 1/4 cup gorgonzola and simmer until it melts.
  6. Turn heat to lowest setting. Slice the chicken pieces and add them to sauce along with any juices that escaped from the sliced chicken. Add basil or other herbs.
  7. If pasta is a little dry, add some reserved cooking liquid first. Add sauce to pasta. Top with prosciutto / pancetta and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Season with S&P to taste.
Game plan:
  1. Start pasta water
  2. Prep tomatoes, shallot, garlic.
  3. Prep prosciutto or pancetta, and saute.
  4. Begin cooking pasta
  5. Saute chickens and remove.
  6. Saute other items and complete sauce.
  7. At some point while chicken or other items are cooking, pasta will be done. Reserve some cooking water and drain.
  8. Combine all.

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