Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Nater's Leeky Tomato Penne Perfection

Nater's Leeky Tomato Penne Perfection

This is a brand new repipe that I whipped up yesterday for the first time!  It certainly looks good, but the smell is absolutely awesome and the taste is even better, all the infused garlic, thyme, not to mention the BACON!  Kevin would be proud.  This dish is good enough you'll go footloose... and hang up those Sunday shoes.

Here's what you need if you wanna play:

Pepper & Sea Salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 chopped Garlic cloves
2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme (1/3 amount if dried)
12 ounces of smoked LEAN bacon (3/4 pound)
Two pints of cherry or grape tomatoes
3 large leeks or 4 medium leeks
1 pound dry whole wheat penne
2 large chicken boobs (breasts)
1/2 White Cooking Wine or chicken stock 
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese, or flakey Parmesan as substitute

Prepare the leeks ahead by cutting off the dark green leafy top and the base with the roots, then halved the leeks lengthwise, and sliced to 1-inch thick pieces.  Washie-wash and dry the leeky leeks.  Good time to wash the towMATERs too.  Then throw on a large pot of water to start boiling for the penne while we start the rest.  

Throw two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to a deep medium skillet over medium high heat.  Add the bacon (trimming big chunks of fat) and crisp in oil.  Once bacon is crisp then add the leeks, chopped garlic, thyme, and generous pepper.  If I could save 'Thyme' in a bottle, the first thing that I'd like to do....  is sauté for 5-6 minutes.  

After you have sautéed, then deglaze the pan with the wine (or chicken stock).  Add the tomatoes and cover the pan. Staying on medium high heat, cook the tomatoes until they burst, 10-12 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.  The tomatoes will burst open in the covered heat, you can gently pop tomatoes if they don't after the 12 minutes.  But don't squish too much, as they will squish more when you stir in pasta and cheese.  Don't make this dish ugly, you know better.  You are what you eat... so make it look sexy.
Generously add sea salt to the boiling water and cook the wheat penne to al dente (slightly firm).  Add a little of the starchy cooking water (quarter cup) to the sauce just before draining the pasta.  Drain, and toss the pasta with the sauce and cheese.  

If you want to add chicken, (as a bodybuilder I eat a lot of chicken boobs), just cook chicken in oven separately while you prepare the entrée.  Keep that protein high!  Drizzle raw chicken with a little extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper.  Cover with foil and back at 325 degrees for 45 minutes (350 for 30 minutes if you're impatient), then slice and top on pasta!  Slow cooking this way makes it taste like thanksgiving turkey.

Cook 'Nater's Leeky Tomato Penne Perfection' and share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus on the links below!  Or share this recipe from my Pinterest account 'NatersAdventure' and I will keep the recipes coming :)   Serves 4, high in protein with added chicken, and good carbs and fats to keep the summer waistline in check!


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