Haalo, from Cook (almost) Anything...at least once is the host for Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging event number 103, has been so lucky travelling around Italy for the past few weeks, tasting the freshest Italian cheeses and indulging in fine wine and food, that she has made me green with envy. I was in Italy 3 years ago, but sadly I didn't have the appreciation for food back then, as I do now. Just another good reason to go back there, yes?
Pasta is on the menu this weekend. However it isn't the traditional Italian tomato sauce base, but more of a French inspired creamy chicken, mushroom and tarragon sauce. French tarragon has a hint of aniseed to it's flavour, not as distinctive as fennel though, and when tasted raw, it leaves your tongue slightly numb, which is a sure indicator that it is really French tarragon, and not it's lesser cousin, the Russian tarragon.
Ingredients for two servings
500 g mixed mushrooms (wild and cultivated)
2 large chicken breasts (no skin), cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of cream or creme fraiche (or half and half of both)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tblsp chopped fresh tarragon
2 cloves of minced garlic
pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper
While pasta is cooking, heat oil in large pan and fry chicken until golden and tender. Remove from pan. Add garlic, then mushrooms and cook until nearly done. Return chicken to pan, then add the cream, herbs and seasonings. Bring to low simmer until cream thickens into a rich sauce. Drain pasta, saving some of the pasta water (if sauce is too thick), add pasta to chicken and mushroom mixture. Extra herbs, or in my daughter's case, freshly grated Parmesan, can be used as a garnish for serving.