Did you know that March has been designated as the National “Noodle Month”?
And if you are feeling like you are running out options for take out during the COVID-19 pandemic, and you are craving something salty, something savory, but you don’t know quiet these flavors are combined into your favorite take out dish, then this easy peasy recipe is just for you. It’s Chicken Lo Mein and it is packed with oodles of noodles and veggies to keep you happy and healthy at the same time.The noodles in this dish are big on flavor without the greasey guilt that you find in most take out foods. This recipe is pretty much straight forward. It is composed of just noodles, chicken and spinach cooked in a garlicky hoisin/soy sauce and dude, it is seriously fresh!
For the most part, lo mein noodles in the ethnic foods section of most major supermarkets. However, in this quarantine kitchen pantry, I substituted the lo mein noodles with the fettuccine I had on hand. You can also use spaghetti or soba noodles. I did not have any hoisin sauce, but there was a bottle of honey barbecue sauce in the fridge, which is somewhat similar to hoisin. I am happy to report that both of these substitution worked well in this dish and it turned out just as delicious.
So, are up to honing you home cooking skills with this dish? Are you game? Ready! Set! And away we go!
For the Sauce:
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
For the Lo Mein:
8 ounces uncooked lo mein noodles
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup snow peas
3 cups fresh spinach
1/4 bunch of cilantro sprigs, optional
To make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce and sesame oil. Set the sauce aside.
For the lo mein: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lo mein noodles and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
In a large nonstick sauté pan set over medium heat, add the olive oil and sesame oil. Once hot, add the garlic and chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until the chicken is cooked through, no longer pink. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set it aside.
Add the carrots and snow peas to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach, cooked noodles, chicken and prepared sauce to the pan and cook, stirring, until combined and the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.
To serve, place in shallow bowls and garnish with cilantro, if desired.
Like Linus of Charles Schultz’s “Peanuts” comic strip….I think pumpkins are GREAT!
And once again, plated.com has brought another amazing pasta dish, which is perfect for those “Meatless Mondays” and is affordable enough to make on your own.
Rigatoni is a popular pasta in Southern and Central Italy. Given its ridged and tubular shape, these features enables the pasta to hold just about any kind of sauce very well. Typically, a tomato based sauce is used with rigatoni, but in this dish, a pumpkin puree is the vegetable of choice for the sauce.
Pumpkin can be tricky and heavy in sauces. If your sauce becomes too thick while cooking this dish, use the reserved pasta cooking water to thin it out. Not only will this little trick improve the consistency of your sauce, but the starchy cooking water will also help the sauce cling better to the pasta.
This dish also features Pecorino cheese, an Italian sheep’s milk cheese similar in texture to Parmesan with a salty, sharp flavor, which adds a nice counterpoint to the creaminess of the pumpkin sauce and pasta.
Overall, this dish was easy to prepare in under 20 minutes. And it was only 740 calories per serving. A great dish for a light lunch on the weekends or a light dinner during the weekday. This dish is easy enough to expand the ingredients to serve more guests.
Creamy Pumpkin Rigatoni
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
10 sage leaves, finely chopped
1/4 bunch chives, finely chopped
8 ounces rigatoni pasta
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Pecorino cheese, divided
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. When water is boiling, add rigatoni ad a generous pinch of salt. Cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, then drain and set aside.
Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until sot and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, sage, and crushed red pepper. Cook until fragrant for about 1 more minute. Add pumpkin puree and 1/2 cup water and stir to combine.
Simmer sauce over medium heat until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Add heavy cream and half of the grated pecorino cheese and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes more. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
Add the rigatoni to the skillet with sauce and stir to coat. Add reserved pasta cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the sauce reaches the desired consistency.
To serve, divide the rigatoni evenly between 2 pasta bowls. Sprinkle over chives and remaining grated pecorino cheese.
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