Fresh pasta is a treat. And while I do enjoy getting elbow deep in the semolina from time to time, it’s not convenient for your average weeknight dinner. The happy medium? Fresh pasta in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store.
We recently had the opportunity (read as: coupon for a free package) to try Buitoni’s Riserva Quattro Formaggi Agnolotti. Translated, that’s a 4-cheese stuffed pasta that look like half-round raviolis.
Having just had beef the night before, we paired it with chicken but didn’t relish looking at two beige-colored items on the same plate. Time to get creative.
First, I made a sauce of pomegranate liqueur, tequila, mustard and other savory ingredients and applied it to both sides of the rice flour-dredged chicken breasts as they cooked. Meanwhile (and as the pasta cooked–remember fresh pasta doesn’t take nearly as long to cook as dry) I melted butter as a base to a garlic and spinach sauce. Everything was ready at just the right time and dinner was delicious.
The Quattro Formagi Agnolotti are very tender (another hallmark of fresh pasta in general) with a creamy filling that pairs well with a simple oil or butter-based sauce. The addition of spinach definitely brightened up the plate a bit but, with the cheese filling, was almost like an inside-out creamed spinach (or would that be outside-in?).
According to the label, each 9-ounce package serves 2; that’s 6 agnolotti a piece. At 360 calories per serving, the addition of a nice sauce and a salad and this could be a dinner portion and not just a side dish. As an accompaniment, you might be able to get three smaller servings out, but there’s not really enough in each agnolotti for 4 servings in a single package.
1/2 c Butter, melted
1.5 T minced garlic
1.5 c cooked Spinach
1 T Salt
Fresh-ground Pepper, to taste
Melt butter in a small saucepan and saute garlic until golden brown. Add cooked spinach, salt and pepper and toss with cooked pasta.
2 T Spicy Brown Mustard
2 T Pomegranate Liqueur
1/2 T Agave Nectar
3/4 T Tequila
1/2 t Lime Juice
4 4-oz Chicken Breasts
3/4 c Rice Flour
Salt & Pepper
2 T Olive Oil
Combine mustard through lime juice in a small bowl, stirring to combine. Adjust flavors as needed. (Pomegranate juice can be substituted for the pomegranate liqueur and the tequila skipped if you’d prefer to not use alcohol.) Dredge chicken in rice flour seasoned with salt and pepper and brown on both sides in the hot oil. Spoon or brush the pomegranate-mustard mixture over each side of the chicken and continue to cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
[Disclaimer: I was provided with a free coupon for this item. All opinions and observations of this product are mine alone.]