Herb Garden Pasta

For Christmas this past year my brother and sister-in-law wanted an indoor herb garden. Getting them this indoor herb garden was harder than I thought.  In Windsor every grocery store I shop at seem to have potted herb plants in the produce department.  Stateside I went to SEVERAL grocery stores, called a few more and even went to a garden nursery and a hardware store.  NONE had potted herb plants.  My brother and sister-in-law live in Chicago and since you can’t bring dirt across the border (even though both countries touch by land) I was unable to gift them any herb plants.  I however purchased some herb plants in Windsor and made a pretty tasty simple pasta with them.  So Roger and Amy, when the herb plants I ordered through the mail finally do arrive, I suggest you make this tasty dinner with them.

A chunk of the recipe came from a cookbook I recommend over all others: Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything.

The recipe tagged was for Linguine with Garlic and Oil. The recipe had a few ideas at the end of it about adding a few more ingredients.  One was to add fresh herbs which I decided to try.  I also decided to add some chicken and bacon, because why not!

I started a pot of salted water to boil. Once boiling I added linguine and cooked until it was done.  I then stained the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the cooking oil.

Meanwhile I heated olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. I then added chicken breast which I had lightly salted and peppered.

The chicken cooked for 4 minutes and I flipped to cook another 4 minutes.

I removed the chicken from the skillet, and let it rest a few minutes before chopping it into bite size pieces. I also chopped cooked bacon into bite size pieces.

I heated more olive oil in the skillet this time over medium low heat. I added chopped garlic and salt and let that cook for several minutes until it was starting to become golden.

Then I added chopped herbs and gave them a stir.

I added the cooked pasta to the skillet with the reserved pasta water and the chicken and bacon.

I increased the heat to medium and let the pasta water reduce down while tossing the pasta occasionally.

I served topped with chopped parsley.

How did it taste: Wow, this really tasted great!  It came together quickly and the fresh herbs added such a great fresh flavor.  The chicken added a nice touch of protein and the bacon, well its bacon so you can’t go wrong with a bit of bacon!

Herb Garden Pasta
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Ingredients
  1. ½ lb linguine
  2. ½ cup of olive oil divided
  3. ¼ lb chicken breast
  4. Salt and pepper
  5. 2 slices of bacon, cooked
  6. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  7. ½ cup mixed fresh herbs, roughly chopped – rosemary, thyme and basil is what I used
  8. 1 TB parsley, roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook linguine per package instructions. Before straining reserve ½ cup of the pasta water.
  2. Meanwhile heat 2 TB of the oil in a larger skillet over medium high heat. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken breast before adding it to the skillet. Cook 4 minutes, flip and cook another 4 minutes. (Check doneness of chicken, cook time can vary depending on thickness of chicken). Remove chicken from the skillet and let rest a couple of minutes and roughly chop the chicken and the bacon.
  3. Heat remaining oil in the skillet over medium low heat. Add garlic and ¼ tsp of salt. Cook, swirling the garlic in the skillet until garlic begins to become golden, about 4 minutes. Add mixed herbs to the skillet and stir. Add the pasta, ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water, chicken and bacon. Increase to medium and cook, tossing occasionally for 3-4 minutes. Add more pasta water if the pasta seems dry.
  4. Serve topped with parsley.
Notes
  1. serves 2-3
Adapted from How to Cook Everything
Adapted from How to Cook Everything
Cooking with Rosemary http://www.cookingwithrosemary.com/