Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘dinner from leftovers’

Zucchini, Chicken, Tomatoes, And Browned Garlic Pasta

Posted by terrepruitt on August 29, 2018

The other day I made dinner from leftovers so I really had no intention of posting about it. But I can’t stop thinking about it because it was so good. I throw a lot of dinners together and I can say I like them, but sometimes some are just way better than others. I am not a fancy eater so I am not a fancy cook. I use the same basic ingredients and spices over and over. (Yes, I think of Marge Simpson!) Sometimes I get adventurous and use a different spice, but when I am just trying to throw dinner together in a hurry and use what is in the fridge, I use the same old things. Sometimes my leftovers have an amazing second life and that is what happened the other day. I used some leftover chicken and broccoli rabe to make a pasta dish. It was yummy. The secret was the browned garlic. Not even garlic cloves, just powered garlic, but it tasted just like the fried garlic cloves from my childhood.


Zucchini, Chicken, Tomatoes, and Browned Garlic Pasta

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can chicken, drained
Kiawe Smoked Garlic Hawaiian Sea Salt
a few pieces of broccoli rabe, cut into smaller pieces

2 1/2 zucchini, quartered and sliced
garlic salt
garlic powder
two handfuls of cherry/grape tomatoes, sliced in half
thin spaghetti

Now the chicken mixture I used was left over from the night before. So in order to not overwhelm the other flavors you don’t want to use a lot of broccoli rabe.

Heat up the olive oil. When the olive oil is hot toss in the chopped onion. Cook the onions then add the broccoli rabe pieces. Sprinkle is with garlic salt (or the Kiawe Smoked Garlic Hawaiian Sea Salt, if you have it). Keep stirring and mixing up the broccoli rabe, onions, and salt. Then add the drained chicken.  Sprinkle a little bit garlic salt and a little bit of cumin over the meat. Then sprinkle a little turmeric – enough so that you see it on all of the chicken, but not too much. Mix and cook.  Remember that the chicken is cooked so you are just warming it and allowing all the spices to be absorbed into it to flavor it.

Turn the saucepan on to boil the water for the spaghetti.

Transfer the chicken mixture to a dish for later. Or if you want to have two pans going at once:

Melt the butter in the pan. Turn the pan up high, let the butter start to get brown then throw in the zucchini. As the zucchini is cooking add some garlic salt (or the Kiawe Smoked Garlic Hawaiian Sea Salt, if you have it). Move the zucchini around, trying to brown both sides. – Somewhere in here you are going to add your thin spaghetti to the boiled water to cook. – As you are moving the zucchini and going for that nice browned color, sprinkle some garlic powder into the pan. The pan is hot enough that when the garlic powder hits the hot pan it starts to brown pretty quick. Keep stirring to allow that browned garlic to adhere to the zucchini helping it to brown. Once your zucchini is almost done to your liking, add the chicken mixture. Mix it all together. Then depending on how cooked you like your tomatoes add them. Sprinkle more garlic salt on to incorporate the tomatoes into the flavor of the dish.

Once your chicken, zucchini, tomato, broccoli rabe mixture is cooked. Add it to your drained pasta.


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I don’t typically cook SPAGHETTI. I do not like it as much as linguine. I usually use linguine for pretty much all my pasta dishes. But I was in the store not too long ago and I saw “thin spaghetti”. I thought it was just like angel hair pasta – which I do not like, so I wasn’t going to bother. But when I held them up together the thin spaghetti did not look as thin as the angel hair pasta so I thought I would try it. I like it. I will probably still stick to linguine, but I might pick up the thin spaghetti every once in a while.

Anyway, this was really good. I really liked it. I am convinced it was the “browned” garlic. The dish tasted like the garlic cloves from my childhood. Now, honestly when I was a child I didn’t really like the fried garlic. But when I got older I did. And I do. I just don’t make it because – that is just a lot of garlic fragrance to subject people to. So this is prefect in that I get that flavor, but I don’t go around smelling like really STRONG garlic (face it, I am pretty sure I always smell like garlic, but not as much as when you fry it and eat it).

Do you like garlic? Do you like angel hair pasta? Do you like cooked tomatoes?

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