Some people, trying to be nice, would go for the delay. "Oh, gosh, I really want to, but the kids are so busy with school and sports and lessons that I just don't have time. For sure call me when school gets out." After years of hearing this, I've learned. Life never gets less busy. It stays as busy as we choose. Those same people when I call them 5 minutes after the closing school bell has rung already have their kids in day camp, soccer camp, and art camp, have out of town visitors scheduled and their two vacations already scheduled. And they say, "Oh, gosh, I really want to, but we're so busy. Life will calm down when the kids are in school. Call me then."
Life is hectic but one constant is that people need to eat. And if you have teenagers, you know they need to eat constantly. Having a good, quick supper in your repertoire can save you time, money (no nasty grab-a-burger-at-the-drive-through-on-the-way-to-the-swim-meet), and your sanity.
This salad is beautiful, delicious, quick, and easy. The lemon gives a bright contrast to the pasta, the broccoli makes you feel healthy, and the chicken says it's a meal. Of course, a vegetarian can omit the chicken and it's still delicious.
Broccoli, Chicken, & Bow Ties
(modified from Barefoot Contessa Family Style)
8 cups broccoli florets (4 heads)
1/2 lb farfalle (bow tie) pasta
1 whole chicken breast, or 1 large 1/2 breast
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. good olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup toasted pignoli (pine) nuts
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional
To toast the pignollis, place them in a dry saute pan over meium-low heat and cook, tossing often, for about 5 minutes, until light brown.
Cut the chicken into strips on the diagonal. Place the chicken in a skillet and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, cover, turn down the heat, and let simmer till chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Don't overcook, or your chicken will be rubbbery.
Cook the broccoli for 3 minuts in a large pot of boiling salted water. Remove the broccoli from the water with a slotted spoon or sieve. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
In the same water, cook the bow-tie pasta according to the package directions, about 12 minutes. Drain well and add to the broccoli.
Meanwhile, in a small saute pan, heat the butter and oil and cook the garlic and lemon zest over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add 2 tsp. satl, the pepper, and lemon juice and pour this over the broccoli and pasta. Toss Well. Season to taste, sprinkle with the pignolis and cheese and serve.