Fresh off our 2.5 week vacation out on the Pacific coast + a plethora of fresh local vegetables has had me cooking the past few days. I’m behind on several posts (when am I not behind?) but made a few super quick meals this past week. Some of them were inspired from a few meals I had in Oregon. Let me just say this, Oregon doesn’t disappoint…in scenery, wine, culture, people, fruit, seafood, vegetables….well food in general, really everything in general. A visit to Oregon is a must on any bucket list.
This first dish is a quick, light pasta perfect for a weeknight meal on a hot and humid night when you want something nourishing but not too heavy. The star of the dish, is the “Oregonzola” blue cheese from Rogue Creamery in Central Point, Oregon (http://www.roguecreamery.com/store/). We discovered this cheese during one of our visits to the coast. Eric ordered a pasta dish with tomato saffron sauce and oregonzola cheese, with salmon on top. It was excruciatingly good. To the point where I could’ve died that moment a very happy girl. Ok, maybe that’s a bit extreme. But it was out of this world.
Anyways, this pasta is incredible versatile and also very customizable to specific tastes. Substitute any vegetable you have on hand, or swap out the chicken for shrimp, or any other seafood for that matter. Or, if you aren’t a fan of blue cheese, swap out for a parmigiano reggiano or a parmesan cheese, or even feta. Just be sure to determine what you want to be the “star” of the pasta, and select flavors that complement.
“Oregonzola” Blue Cheese and Chicken Pasta
(Serving Size: 2)
2 TBSP butter
1 clove of garlic
1 pint Shiitake mushrooms (substitute whatever mushrooms you have on hand)
4 roma tomatoes
Salt/Pepper to taste
2 cooked chicken breasts (made ahead or grilled that night, or substitute with rotisserie chicken)
2 TBSP of fresh parsley
(keep a little olive oil handy, might need to add a little more liquid when sauteeing mushrooms/onions or at the end)
1. Boil water for pasta and cook. Set aside.
2. Chop garlic, shallot, mushrooms, and tomatoes.
3. Heat a little butter in a pan (feel free to substitute a good olive oil) and begin sauteing shallot, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Should take several minutes. Onions should be transparent, mushrooms gently cooked, and tomatoes beginning to break down. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add pasta into sauce. Cook another miniute or so until pasta is coated.
Note: If dry, add a little EVVO or (hide your eyes) butter.
5. Remove pan from heat and slowly crumble cheese over pasta. Stir to combine.
6. Serve with chicken breast.