There comes a point in every young relationship when you first find something about the other person that gives you pause. For me, it was when M told me he didn't really like pasta. I love pasta. I mean, I really, really love it. I could seriously eat pasta almost every single day. I don't, of course, but I could. So when I heard the man I was falling in love with say he wasn't much of a pasta fan, I was pretty worried. And determined to change his mind.
Three years later, I can say I've been successful.
Turns out, he does like pasta. For some reason, he was associating pasta with big heavy dishes like spaghetti and meatballs and lasagna. I don't know that he'd really had much in the way of simply sauced pastas bursting with healthy lean proteins and flavorful vegetables. All I had to do was make him some of these dishes and he was a quick convert. Thank goodness. Life with a pasta hater, no matter how much I love him, was going to get rough at some point.
Chicken Tetrazzini Pasta
adapted from Clean Eating, June 2012
8 oz. whole-wheat rotini, penne, or farfalle
1 c. 1% milk
1 c. low-fat plain Greek yogurt (I use strained plain yogurt)
1 TBSP olive oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-in. cubes
salt and pepper, to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. dried thyme OR 1 TBSP fresh thyme, minced
1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
2 c. sliced cherry tomatoes
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together milk and yogurt. Set aside.
3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper then add to skillet with garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is golden brown, about 3 minutes.
4. Add mushrooms to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, 3-5 minutes, until mushrooms soften and release liquid. Add thyme and cook 1 minute more, until thyme is fragrant and chicken is cooked through.
5. Reduce heat to low and stir in milk mixture, cheese, and pasta. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Cook 1 minute more, until all ingredient are thoroughly heated through.