Sunday, July 17, 2011

Grilled Zucchini & Chicken Pasta

I loved this pasta dish.  It was easy and quick to make, although as with most pasta dishes, you have to work fast to get everything done in the time the pasta is boiling.  Marinating the chicken ahead of time helps with that, though, and having someone else do the grilling (like my husband).  While he was out grilling the chicken and zucchini, I was inside, boiling pasta, juicing lemons, grating Parmesan cheese, and cooking garlic in oil.  This made a ton and it was ALL eaten, and we wanted more!  I have to admit that my two boys weren't crazy about the actual zucchini, but they loved the pasta and chicken.  My daughter liked the zucchini, and my husband and I LOVED it.  It was my favorite part.  Actually, this dish would be great as a vegetarian dish without any chicken at all, although the chicken was delish too. 

I added some cherry tomatoes I had that needed to go.  (The wonderful thing about pasta dishes- add or take away whatever you want!)  I also used penne (Barilla Plus) because I realized too late I was out of fettucini.  I would use penne again- it made it very easy to eat, especially for the kids.  I didn't even have fresh basil (or oregano, but I never do) when I made this and it was STILL wonderful!  I just used dried- looking forward to making it again with fresh.  The recipe calls for lemon zest, but I was in too much or a hurry to zest my lemons.  Feel free to do it though- I'm sure it would be good!

This is a great summer dish- and pretty inexpensive, too.  If you're lucky enough to have a garden with zucchini, or a friend's garden, it's even cheaper!  It was only about $.60 at my store for the two zucchinis, though.  Love summer produce!

Grilled Zucchini & Chicken Pasta
adapted from Our Best Bites

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves or 6-7 chicken tenders
2 lemons, juiced

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Olive Oil
8 oz. Fettuccine, Penne, or pasta of your choice
2 medium zucchini
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
5-6 cloves garlic
fresh basil- about 1/2 cup chopped (or 1 tsp. dried, if you don't have fresh)
Fresh Oregano- about 1/4 cup chopped (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste

1.  Marinate chicken in the juice of one lemon, a splash of olive oil, and the red wine vinegar.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes, or up to a few hours (not too long- or the acids in the lemon juice and vinegar will start cooking the chicken). 

2.  Preheat your outdoor grill.  Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions and drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water.  Slice your zucchini in half, length-wise.  Drizzle or brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3.  Press, or finely mince garlic.  In a small saucepan, on the stove over medium-low heat, place 1/4 cup of olive oil and the garlic.  Don't actually cook the garlic; just warm it through to make a garlic-infused olive oil. 

4.  Grill chicken and zucchini until done.  Don't under or over-cook the zucchini.  When done, remove from grill.  Let chicken rest a few minutes, and then slice.  Slice zucchini. 

5.  Place cooked pasta in a large serving bowl.  Add chicken, zucchini, the juice of the other lemon, parmesan, garlic oil, fresh herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.  Toss.  If you think it needs more moisture, you can add some of the reserved pasta cooking water.  Garnish with more fresh herbs and shredded Parm if desired. 
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1 comment:

Jay said...

Love the recipe, I just shared it on my blog together with recipe for homemade pasta. You can check it here - ! I'm trying to convince people that pasta is not that bad for them as most of the people think. Thank you for the great recipe!