The Little Recipe That Could

I am a firm believer that men should be able to cook for themselves as well as there future significant. Although I am not particularly skilled in the kitchen myself, I do occasionally create something delicious. This is the story about one such dish.

Last night I took over dinner duties at my mom’s house. Of course, she appreciated not having to cook in the evening, but I had somewhat selfish reasons for offering: I wanted to perfect a dish. Back when I was living in Sacramento and first starting to cook for myself, I borrowed one of my mom’s cookbooks and made a dish called an Italian Chicken Pasta Toss. The picture in the book was very appetizing, and as it turned out, the meal was pretty good. It was a little bland the first time, but I had a feeling if I used more spices and changed a couple things, it would be better.

So I made it again. And again. And again. Not in a row obviously, but every couple weeks I would gather up the ingredients and get to work. The dish got better each time, but I always had one more idea to test the next time I prepared it: remove this ingredient; add this one; simplify this step; use a different spices. Last night, I finally completed the recipe.

For your enjoyment:

Italian Chicken Pasta Toss
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes

2 zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 onion, chopped
14.5oz can diced tomatoes (undrained)
1.5-2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
6 ounces uncooked bow tie (or similar) pasta (about 3 cups)
1 Good Seasons Italian Seasoning Packet
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 teaspoons canola oil

  1. Start by preparing your ingredients: chop onions, slice zucchini, and cut chicken into bite-size chunks.
  2. Cook pasta according to the package directions in medium saucepan. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken. Stir-fry 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.
  4. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, zucchini, yellow squash, peas, tomatoes, seasoning mix, and salt; stir-fry 2 minutes.
  5. Cover skillet and let simmer for 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. Stir in warm pasta. Serve immediately with garlic bread (optional).
The Finished Product

Although I’d love to keep this little gem of a recipe to myself, I also want to share it with the world. It’s a great recipe for a learning cook (like myself) because the ingredients and preparation is super simple. Plus, it’s basically an all-in-one meal, so all you really need is some bread to serve it with. So far, it’s been a hit with everyone I’ve made it for.

If you do happen to make my dish, please leave a comment or a tweet and let me know what you think. I’d love any feedback you could give (especially from experienced cooks).