The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
- Carl Sandburg, "Fog"
It was a foggy drive today as I went to visit my youngest at university. She and I cooked together, making food for a friend whose brother died this week.
"I don't know what to say when somebody dies, Mom."
"Neither do I, honey."
We take food, and say how sorry we are, and hope they know how much we care.
Pasta and Chicken with Mascarpone
Inspired by Italian Food Forever
1 cup mascarpone cheese at room temperature
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
a few grinds of black pepper
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into 1/2” dice
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 cups baby spinach
2 cups dry penne
salt (for pasta water)
1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
Combine the mascarpone, zest, lemon juice and pepper in a bowl, and whisk to combine. Bring a pasta pot of salted water to boil.
While waiting for the water, heat the oil in a skillet, and cook the chicken until it is cooked through and just beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and spinach, and cook another minute or two, until spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
Return the pasta to the pot, and set over medium heat. Stir in the mascarpone and lemon mixture, the chicken mixture, and sun-dried tomatoes. Loosen the sauce with 1/4 cup of the water and toss the ingredients together until everything is combined, adding a little additional pasta water if needed.
Serve immediately, topped with toasted sliced almonds.