Risotto is traditionally a Northern Italian dish made with rice. That makes perfect sense when you realize the Riso means rice. And it’s not just the type of rice that matters, but the way it is prepared that give Risotto its creamy, rich consistence. So what happens to a short pasta cooked the same way?
Well according to the New York Times, you have a pasta that is rich and creamy without drowning in an ocean of sauce. I gotta tell you, that’s my kind of pasta. I like sauce to be creamy and rich, clinging to the pasta without being “saucy” in consistency. Hubby; on the other hand, wants his pasta beyond wet. I like to cook my meat sauce down to the point that you can eat it with a fork. So we compromise. I’ll ladle the sauce on my pasta using a slotted spoon. More sauce for him, more meat for me (yeah, but don’t tell him).
When it comes to Risotto, he doesn’t need the sauce to be saucy. Creamy is just fine. So this dish brings the creamy goodness of Risotto and the firmness of a properly prepared pasta together in a single dish. Add chicken and mushrooms, you’ve got an awesomely satisfying supper. So break open that bottle of wine, toss a salad and let’s eat!
Risotto Style Chicken and Mushroom Pasta
2 Garlic Cloves
2 cups Crimini Mushrooms
6 boneless Chicken Thighs
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 lb Gemelli Pasta
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
1/2 cup White Wine
3-1/2 cups Chicken Stock
Italian Parsley, optional garnish
Parmesan Cheese, optional garnish
Chop shallot, mince garlic and trim mushrooms; set aside. Dice chicken thighs into large bite-size pieces; set aside.
Heat olive oil in a deep-sided skillet over medium heat. When hot, add shallots, garlic and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have softened and are beginning to brown at the edges; about 10 minutes.
Add the uncooked pasta, continue to cook; stirring occasionally, until the pasta is glossy and coated with oil; about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine, stir and let the wine bubble away.
Ladle the chicken stock into the skillet about 1/2-cup at a time, stirring after each addition. Continue to stir every minute or so; allowing most of the stock to evaporate completely before addition the next 1/2-cup. The mixture should be neither soupy nor dry. Maintain heat at medium, stirring frequently.
About 10 minutes after the introduction of the pasta, test taste pasta for stage of doneness. It needs to reach a stage of tenderness but with a tiny bit of crunch, not quite al dente. When the pasta appears to be about 4 minutes away from being cooked through (and this is just a guess); add the chicken. Stir to combine. Continue to cook until the chicken pieces are cooked through and the pasta is tender to your liking.
To serve; ladle into shallow bowls; garnish with parsley and Parmesan Cheese as desired.