Italian Slow Cooker Chicken

Want to know about a savory chicken dish that is so simple you won’t believe it?

Good! Here it is.

Throw some chicken breasts in your crock pot, dump a bottle of Italian salad dressing over it, and cook for 6-8 hours on low.

That’s it!

I used 4 chicken breasts and removed them around 4 hours to chop into chunks. They came out at the end of the cooking time juicy & flavorful.

Serve over pasta or rice & sprinkle with cheese.

Matt added some sour cream to his and it tasted great while adding a creaminess to the sauce.

Enjoy!

Linguine with Lemon & Olive Oil

This pasta is fresh. Lemony, delicious, FRESH. I saw it over on smitten kitchen and knew I had to make it. Boy am I glad I did…this one is going into the pasta rotation because it is such a pleasant variation. Matt went crazy for it and was amazed that a lemon pasta could taste so good!

1 pound spaghetti or linguine

Salt

3 lemons

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil , plus additional for serving

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 ounce finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup), plus additional for serving

Ground black pepper

Small handful fresh basil or arugula leaves, shredded

Cook linguine or spaghetti in well-salted water to your al dente tastes in a large, wide-bottomed pot. (You’ll have fewer dishes to wash if you use this pot to assemble the dish as well.)

While pasta is cooking, zest lemons until you have a little shy of a tablespoon of zest. Juice lemons — you’ll have anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 cup lemon juice.

Drain pasta, reserving 1 1/2 cups of pasta cooking water. Dry out your pot, then boil the olive oil, cream, zest and 1 cup of the reserved pasta water together for two minutes over high heat. Return pasta to pot and stir until coated. Add the cheese and 1/4 cup lemon juice and toss, toss, toss everything together. Add more pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, if you’d like your dish a little looser. Quickly taste a strand of pasta and see if you want to add the remaining lemon juice (we did). Stir in basil or arugula and season generously with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately, drizzling individual portions with a bit of extra olive oil and sprinkling with extra Parmesan cheese.

Pasta e Lenticchie

Rainy weather means SOUP!

I saw Buddy (Cake Boss, he now has a cooking show called Kitchen Boss) make this, and since I had some lentils in the cupboard I thought I’d try it out. This Pasta e Lenticchie is a flavorful, thick, hearty, filling Italian soup.


Pasta e Lenticchie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Ingredients
  • 2 slices extra-thick cut bacon, cut into dice
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped fine
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped fine
  • Salt
  • 2 plump cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1 14.5 ounce can plum tomatoes with their juice, cut or torn into pieces
  • 5 cups water
  • Chunk of parmesan rind (optional)
  • 1 cup cooked al dente, drained and rinsed orzo, ditalini, or other small pasta shape
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the bacon pieces and stir to coat in the oil. Allow to cook until softened, translucent and some fat is rendered. Add the onions, celery, and carrots, stir to coat. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and sauté until softened. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Pour in the lentils and stir to coat. Add the tomatoes, their juices, the water, a pinch of salt and optional parmesan rind. Bring soup up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are just about fully tender, 20-30 minutes. Add the pasta and cook an additional ten minutes until the pasta is cooked to taste. Correct seasoning with salt.
  2. Serve in bowls with a drizzle of good olive oil, grated parmesan and black pepper.

I ended up using 6 1/2 cups of water and an extra can of tomatoes because so much of my liquid burned off during simmering, so next time I’ll keep the lid on. Edited to add: I’ve made this many times since, and if you put the lid on while simmering, it’s perfect.

Buddy and his brother-in-law were cooking together on this show. At the end, they each ate almost a whole bowl of soup before the camera was done rolling! It was so funny because you’re used to seeing the chefs take just a bite or two of what they’ve made, and these two giant Italian guys were just devouring their food. I don’t blame them!