One of the great things about being part of the farmers' market is that you get to try some amazing food. Not only are the fruits and vegetables the freshest, and tastiest you can buy, there are also many other products available, such as the avocado lemon oil, featured in this pasta dish.
This recipe conjures up everything about living here in Southern California. The chicken in this recipe is first grilled, a year round activity here, and the olive oil is made from locally grown avocados and lemons. The final dish is delicious, with a subtle balance of avocado, lemon and chicken flavors.
This oil is also great for dipping, or to make a simple vegetarian pasta by sauteing cooked pasta for 2-3 minutes in olive oil combined with crushed garlic.
Chicken and Mushroom Pasta with Avocado Lemon Olive Oil
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 2 skinless chicken breasts
- lemon pepper
- 4 tablespoons Avocado Lemon Olive Oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 6 oz dried penne or rigatoni
- Several sprigs of flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Prepare the chicken for grilling. Wash and pat dry the skinless chicken breasts and brush with some of the avocado lemon oil, then sprinkle with lemon pepper.
- Grill the chicken with the pepper facing down on a pre-heated medium hot grill for 7 minutes, turn and brush the second side with oil and pepper and grill for a further 5-6 minutes. Continue grilling, until no pink remains. The temperature of the chicken should be at least 165° F. Do not be tempted to turn the temperature to very high, as this causes the chicken to dry out, it stays moist if cooked more slowly.
- When the chicken is cooked, remove from the heat, slice, set aside, and keep warm.
- Boil the water for the pasta, then add the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the timing on the instructions (usually between 10-12 minutes for al dente pasta)
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the other ingredients. First crush the garlic, then roughly chop the Italian parsley, saving a few sprigs for garnish, and slice the mushrooms.
- When the pasta is almost ready, heat the remaining avocado lemon olive oil in a saute pan.
- Saute the fresh garlic in the oil for 1-2 minutes, then add the sliced mushrooms.
- Add the sliced chicken to the oil mixture and coat.
- Add the pasta to the oil, and mix in the Italian parsley, salt and pepper.
- Cook for a further 1-2 minutes until the pasta is completely coated with the oil and garlic mixture.
- Garnish with parsley sprigs, and serve with additional black pepper and Parmesan cheese.
This meal can be served with a green salad, and is great with a dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, or San Pellegrino water with a slice of lemon.
Bella Vado Avocado oils can be found at the Little Italy Mercato in San Diego. Their website, bellavado.com, also gives you more information about this natural oil.