February is the month of….
…and isn’t Italian noted as one of the most romantic languages?
Not to mention the incredible scenery and the wine and pasta and music… and stunningly chiseled jaw lines of the tall, dark and dreamy…
annndddd I am getting offff topic…. LOL!
Sorry about that…but… Ladies… you understand where I went for a second right…
Anyways… So February… LOVE Month…. because February brings Valentine’s Day!! and because of that, we are doing some extra special things for our loved ones. And because I love Italian food, especially Pasta; I figured why not share a great make at home dinner that is sexy and romantic and great for a special valentines dinner, while at the same time; is healthy and a great quick weekday meal! V-Day is a Wednesday this year, so the likelihood of going out for dinner, may not work for you… so this meal, is a good way to make it feel like you paid a lot of money for a good meal! Do your groceries this weekend, and get the ingredients; and on your way home stop at the liquor store and grab the wines I suggest below. SIMPLE AS THAT!
spaghetti(zucca) di pollo e funghi con aglio e olio
Spaghetti squash, chicken and mushrooms with garlic and oil
What you need:
- 2 boneless chicken breasts (or one large one cut into two)
- 1/4 chicken broth (Veg broth will work too or water)
- chicken seasoning:
- pinch of Salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp chili flakes
- 1 package cremini mushrooms
- pinch of Salt & pepper
- roasted garlic (I used a whole small head of garlic)
- 1 small spaghetti squash
- 1/4 cup + some for drizzle Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) (use 3 tbsp if you are not using truffle oil)
- 3 tbsp Truffle Oil (Optional)
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup Mozzarella cheese
- 2 tbsp butter
- Coarse black pepper for garnish
What you do:
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees
- Cut and de-seed your spaghetti squash, brush on a little EVOO and black pepper and place face down on a baking sheet
- Take the whole head of garlic and cut the top off and drizzle some Truffle oil or EVOO on the open cloves, place on a piece of tin foil and fold into a pouch, please the pouch in the middle of the baking sheet in between the squash
- The squash and the garlic stay in the oven for 45 minutes, at about 30 minutes, flip your squash over (face up) and let it cook for the last 15 minutes that way
- Wash your chicken and season with chicken seasoning
- Get a cast iron skillet about med high, and place your season chicken down into the skillet – what you want is to crisp the outside about 3-4 minutes per side
- Remove the chicken from the skillet once both sides are coloured and place into the oven pan with about 1/4 cup of chicken broth and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes at the 400-degree oven (you want the chicken to set about 5 minutes before cutting it so if you time yourself right the chicken can rest while you dig out your squash)
- Clean and slice your mushrooms if you did not buy pre-sliced (see Tips for cleaning Mushrooms)
- In the same skillet you cooked the chicken in, heat your 1/4 cup of EVOO at med-high and drop your mushrooms in
- Cook mushrooms until browned and a dark caramelized look takes over your mushrooms – add pinch of salt and black coarse pepper
- Take out your chicken, garlic and squash – start pulling the squash apart into a bowl, let the chicken sit for a few minutes to rest, take your garlic out of its casing, take your knife and just press it down – the garlic is now all soft and turning into a paste – drop it into the mushrooms and stir around
- Once the squash in resting in a bowl add your butter and the remaining 3 tbsp oil (truffle oil if you have it… it’s that added sexy expensive taste)
- Next add your parsley, chili flakes, and Parmesan to the mushrooms and garlic mixture, then add this mixture to your spaghetti squash and oil/butter and toss gently
- Lastly cut your chicken, and place on top of the “pasta” and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and coarse black pepper as a finishing touch
serves 2 hearty portions
- Cleaning Mushrooms – gently use a slightly damp towel to brush off the dirt – never wash your mushrooms… they don’t need to be wet to be cleaned
- Use regular spaghetti pasta instead of squash if you would rather the pasta
- Don’t like mushrooms… use asparagus it’s also an excellent vegetable to use here
- Not a big Garlic lover?… only use a few cloves from your roasted garlic head, or use it all and not give a F…..haha! *Smelling of garlic is not a bad thing, especially if it’s both of you… won’t hurt your chances to score … I promise. LOL
While you’re out getting the ingredients for this – my suggestion would be to grab a quick garlic bread(no cheese) and maybe a little cheesecake tray of variety for dessert… and you are set for a beautiful valentines meal!
This is such an elegant meal and it’s really easy to make.
Its hearty and deep in flavours and so, so delicious!
Happy Valentine’s Day fellow Foody Friends! Hope you enjoy this one!