Not quite a Pimavera, not quite an Alfredo. I don't care what you call it, just so long as it's good ... which it is. We had been planning to whip up a batch of Paula Deen's Squash and Zucchini Cakes this week but never got around to it, so we had a couple of zucchini and summer squash that needed to be used up. I also found a few stray Cubanelle Peppers and some other random veggies in the fridge, and a tub of Philadelphia Original Cooking Creme, so I decided to combine them all with some chicken and pasta and see what happened. By the way, if you haven't tried the Squash and Zucchini Cakes, you're missing out! Just be sure to make them right away after grating the squash. We let it sit too long once and it ended up mushy.
2 summer squash
1 med onion
1 orange bell pepper
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1 lb Gemelli (pasta twists)
Philadelphia Original Cooking Creme
Jarred minced garlic with red pepper
salt and pepper
fresh grated Parmesan
fresh grated lemon zest
Start by cutting your veggies and chicken into a size/shape somewhat similar to your pasta, keeping in mind that the pasta will expand a little while cooking, and the rest will shrink a little. For the zucchini and squash, I opted to core them today, so I only used the outside portion. If you don't want to waste the middle, you can mix it with some ground beef, rice, and spices and use it to stuff some peppers ... or maybe process it and use it for moisture in a meatloaf.
I have a confession to make. When I was eating the final product, I was thinking I would have to increase the garlic and Italian seasoning next time. It wasn't until I just went to write this post that I realized what was missing. The onion! It apparently rolled away when I wasn't looking. You know what they say - out of sight, out of mind!
Leaving out the tomatoes for the time being, toss the rest of the veggies with enough olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic to coat, then do the same with the chicken. I guess you don't need to do this since they're all getting cooked together anyhow, but I kept my chicken and vegges separated (just in case).
Spread your veggies (minus the tomatoes) on one half of a baking sheet, and the chicken on the other. Bake at 400 for 15", then give everything a stir, add the tomatoes, and continue for another 10".
If you're nervous about whether your chicken is cooked through, just find a big piece and cut into it to check. At 400, with the chicken cut into small pieces, that should be plenty of time!
Cook the pasta, saving 1/2c of the water before draining. Stir 3-4T of the Cooking Creme and 1T of Italian seasoning into the water until smooth, then toss with the pasta. The pasta should suck up the water, leaving you with a nice silky light coating of the seasoned cooking creme.
Gently toss the veggies and chicken with the pasta, then plate up a bowl topped with some freshly grated Parmesan and a little lemon zest to brighten it up. Enjoy!