As we move into Fall's holiday season, I thought I'd share some dinner party comfort food...dishes that leave that warm snuggly feeling in your belly but that are jazzed up enough to serve the next time you have guests over!
Talk about a dish with enough flavor to stand by itself and create an entire meal all alone! Seriously, the only thing you need here is a crisp salad and a light white wine to cut through the rich flavors of the main course! An easy recipe perfect for dinner guests. From the cookbook: Gnocchi are tender pillow-like dumplings that are typically made with potato, though sometimes with flour. If you are unable to find fresh or vacuum-packed gnocchi, you can use other pasta - such as shells or bowties.
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato oil, divided
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound gnocchi or small shell pasta (I used tri-colored gnocchi, found near the artisan pastas and cheeses in the deli section of my grocery)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1/2 cup whipping cream (I planned to use fat free 1/2 and 1/2 but when I opened mine it'd spoiled, so I used skim milk and thickened the sauce with a bit of flour when the time came)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup chopped prosciutto (or bacon)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Heat 1 tablespoon of the sun-dried tomato oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and saute until just cooked through, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm; reserve the skillet.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and cook until tender, following package directions (mine took 3-4 minutes, so I waited to start them until the rest of the meal was closer to being done). While the pasta is cooking, heat the remaining tablespoon of the sun-dried tomato oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute until tender and aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the chicken with stock, sun-dried tomatoes, cream, cheese, and prosciutto and bring to a boil. Let the sauce reduce until it thickens slightly, 3-5 minutes.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it well and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the sauce to the pasta and toss to coat, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Top with the basil and pine nuts and serve.