Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Roasted Chicken

I used to have this beat up red folder, the ones that have a spine to hold your papers in.  The kind that has three metal prongs to keep your paper intact.  You know what I’m talking about right? This beat up red folder with frailed corners was very special to me, but I’ve lost it!  Oh Ms. Thompson, can I enroll in your home economics class again even though I’m no longer an adolescent??  I promise to cherish every recipe even more than before!  Ms. Thompson was my home economics teacher in the 8th grade, I’m now twenty six years old.  She taught me the basic skills of cooking and sewing and have not stopped practicing since!  Well… I haven’t sewn in maybe 10 years and i’m afraid I’ve lost my touch.  I sewed my first pair of boxers and apron in her class, which I embarrassingly still have and wear! She taught us how to roast and cut a whole chicken from scratch and just because we weren’t adults, grading our knife skills was not something she was lenient on!  She would come around looking at our plump juicy (sometimes dried into prunes) chickens and would make sure we cut each joint cleanly with one smooth motion.

Every Thursday, Ms. Thompson would sell nachos to the entire school.  $2.00 for a container of chips with a half cup of nacho cheese and an additional $0.25 for each additional scoop.  My order was always one scoop of cheese and one scoop of chili.  I loved these nachos so much that sometimes I gave my sandwich away so that I could inhale these nachos (sorry mom!  At least I didn’t throw it away)!  Anyway, besides the heavenly taste of chili cheese nachos embedded in my mind, a dish Ms. Thompson had us make in home economics was pasta with tomatos and chicken; a dish that I will never forget.  I remember spending one day rubbing herbs and softened butter underneath and on the chicken skin then roasting the chicken the next day.  We spent most of the period roasting then cutting the chicken that when it came to eating, we had five minutes!  This pasta was so good, no way was I going to throw it away just because I had another class right after!  So what did I do?  I stole a ziplock bag from a cabinet and made myself a doggy bag, mmhmm!   I’ve  dreamt of having that exact same pasta again many a times,  but can’t remember the recipe for the life of me.  Darn, I’ll just have to make up my own recipe using the same main ingredients.

Thanks Ms. Thompson for teaching me my kitchen ones, twos, and threes!

Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Roasted Chicken

1lb. long pasta, (I usually use linguini but settled for whole wheat spaghetti this time). water salt

2 chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chipotle powder
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. olive oil
(or use 2 breasts of a rotisserie chicken)

1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
3 roma tomatoes, diced or 8 oz. cherry tomatoes cut in half
2 C. chicken broth 8 oz.
sliced mushrooms
1 Tbsp. butter
salt and pepper to taste

If you aren’t using a rotisserie chicken, place your chicken breasts into an oven proof dish.  Sprinkle all of the spices all over the chicken. Cover and place the chicken into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. When the chicken is done marinating, preheat your oven to 350F. Drizzle the oil over the chicken. Bake your chicken breasts for about 40 minutes or until the juices run clear, flipping once inbetween.  Cover and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and throw in some salt.  Cook the pasta based on the instructions on its box.

In a large heavy frying pan, heat the oil.  Add the tomatoes and sautee for about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sautee for another couple of minutes.  Add the garlic and chicken broth.  Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the butter and stir.  Cook for another 2 minutes.  Slice the chicken and add to the sauce.

When the pasta is done, drain and directly add the pasta into the sauce and coat the pasta with the sauce.

It’s pasta time!  Garnish with basil or flat leaf parsley.  Make sure to include a piece of mushroom and tomato in every bite!

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