If you’re just joining the chat, we’re discussing what to do with a big bag of leftover pignoli. This is part 2 of a 3 part post so please, head on over to post 1 if you’re currently thinking to yourself, “what in the world is a pignoli?” Then come back and have some pasta!

There’s not much that can stop a mother/daughter duo in the kitchen. It’s a bit like Iron Chef actually, both of us bustling about chopping one minute, sauteing the next. Lord help the poor soul who gets in our way. Both the boyfriend and Dad know that when Mom and Britt are cooking, they just need to sit quiet and drink their Blue Moon. Oh and set the table – that’s their job.

Mom and I discovered this tasty looking recipe over on Eggs on Sunday. It combines linguine, roasted chicken, greens and pine nuts for a tasty and fresh pasta entree. We decided to amp it up a bit with the addition of sun dried tomato. Mom got really excited and shouted out, “It looks like the Italian flag!”

The dish calls for a roasted chicken and, I’ll admit, we cheated a bit here and purchased some pre-roasted birds at the local market. However, roasting a chicken is most definitely on my list of things to try – right up there with making artisan bread and fresh pasta.

Amy at Eggs on Sunday talks about the satisfying visceral feeling that comes with pulling chicken apart with your fingers and she is absolutely spot on. I’d compare it to de-gunking a pumpkin at Halloween. It’s messy, but surprisingly rewarding. Getting down there in the nitty-gritty of cooking is one of my favorite culinary experiences and I recommend everyone use their hands once in a while. Cooking is about not only preparing food, but slowing down and savoring the process. Indulge all your senses, including touch. The best way to do that is to go all out, even if things get messy.

This recipe is a great one-dish meal and can be prepared entirely in your roasting pan or skillet, with an extra pot or two to prepare your pasta and nuts of course.

A word on toasting your nuts: They brown up quick so roast them on medium-low and remove from the heat the minute they start to smell toasty. They will burn if left on even a minute too long.

The dish itself is excellent with the pignolis adding a nice toasty crunch. There’s rosemary in here as well, which balances the fresh flavors with it’s earthy, aromatic notes. Make this one for a large group, there is plenty to go around!

Don’t go too far now because dessert is next: Airy rosemary citrus pignole bread pudding, winner of Food52’s bread pudding challenge.

~Brittni

Linguine with roasted chicken, sun dried tomato, greens and pignoli
Adapted from The New York Times

You will need:

1 whole chicken (you can also use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or a store bough roasted chicken)
1 bunch of dark leafy greens, such as swiss chard, collards or dinosaur kale
1 pound linguine (or other noodle such as spaghetti, fettuccine or bucatini)
1 small onion or 2 leeks, sliced (we opted for leeks)
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
2/3 cup toasted pine nuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Roast a chicken according to your favorite method – or just pick one up at your local market.

When the chicken comes out of the oven, remove the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 20 minutes.  When the chicken has rested, pull the meat off the bones and break it into bite-sized pieces. Chop some of the crispy chicken skin if desired; set the meat and skin aside.

Cook the linguine, drain it and set it aside, reserving about a cup of the pasta cooking water.

Set the roasting pan (with the drippings and fat that accumulated when you roasted the chicken) back on the stove, over two burners. Or, if using a store bought chicken, heat a skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil. In the roasting pan/skillet over medium-high heat, add the onion or leek and saute until softened.

Add the chopped greens and sundried tomatoe and saute until the greens are wilted but still bright green. Add the pieces of roasted chicken and skin (if using) as well as the chopped rosemary. Add the pasta, tossing it around to coat it with the chicken juices and fat (add a little of the reserved pasta cooking water if it looks like it needs to be moistened).

Finally, toss in the toasted pine nuts and fresh parsley.

Yield ~ 6 servings

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