Sunday, January 27, 2013

Noodles From Heaven... Shoo Doo Bee!

Basta Pasta - Cambridge, MA

Look at them babies. Chicken Cacciatore with radiatore noodles. 
     FINALLY! Joan and Lauren used to talk about Basta Pasta all the time, and I had never been. Finally, after one 2x6k Saturday death workout, Joan and I headed over. Jake said to get their homemade noodles, so that was #1 on my to do list. I went with the Chicken Cacciatore with whole wheat radiatore noodles. Now this was seriously a treat for me... let me tell you. A HUGE plate of pasta popped up on the counter for my taking. Billowing steam, the beautiful creation was made up of peppers, onions, mushrooms, their homemade tomato sauce, romano cheese and these absolutely enormous radiatore noodles. I mean, these guys were. Each noodle was a full bite in itself, but man were they delicious! You could taste how fresh they were. I have decided that this is my favorite kind of noodle. Why? Radiatore are full of ridges. What do these ridges do? They provide pockets for sauce, cheese and other decorations to get caught in. So each noodle you bite into isn't only a noodle, but there are hidden treasures buried within each one. The sauce these guys make is fabulous too. It's slightly sweeter than standard pasta sauce, and it's full of a basil flavor. Big fan over here. I was so impressed for this being a tiny little place tucked in residential Cambridge. A return visit is definitely in order.

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup - My Kitchen, Cambridge, MA

Picture sucks, but the soup didn't. 
     In an effort to try something new, Jake suggested a lemon chicken soup. Truthfully I can't say I'd ever had such a thing, let alone tried to cook something like it on my own. After a short bout of interwebz research, I found an easy recipe on the Whole Foods website. I modified the recipe, yet again, by adding a can of garbanzo beans (highly recommended), swapping out the rice for orzo, not straining the soup, doubling the amount of parsley, and using 4 cups vegetable broth + 2 cups of water and 2 chicken bouillon cubes instead of 6 cups of chicken broth (simply because that's what I had).

     The most fun part about making this soup was the step involving adding the eggs, which I had never done before. You have to whisk the eggs really fast until they're foamy, add the lemon juice, continue mad whisking, then slowly add a cup of the boiling broth. Aside from getting a forearm cramp while doing so (#athleteproblems), it's really fun to watch how adding the hot broth to the egg/lemon mix cooks the egg. It doesn't clump up like it would if you dropped an egg into boiling water. The egg just disperses and more or less cooks as little egg particles.

     Long story short, I literally CAN NOT believe how amazing this soup is. I'm not even kidding. It's a week later, I'm still eating it and every time I do, I'm still in amazement. The way the egg, lemon and the chicken flavors all blend just make this such a rockin' soup. It's light and refreshing but full of protein. By far one of my best so far.

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 can garbonzo beans
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup long grain rice or orzo
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1) Bring broth, onion, carrot, bay leaf and salt to a simmer. Add chicken breasts, cover and gently simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Remove chicken breasts, let cool slightly and pull or cut chicken into thin strips. Set aside. Return to boil. Add rice/orzo and gently simmer for 20 minutes, then add chicken back to soup for another 5 minutes. 

2) Whisk eggs until they are frothy, and whisk in lemon juice. Add a cup of the hot soup to egg-lemon mixture, very slowly, whisking while you pour it in. Add another cup in the same manner. Take soup off the heat and add egg mixture to it. Sprinkle with parsley, season with pepper and serve.

No comments :

Post a Comment