Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Anna Sultana’s Capellini Caprese

But a problem if you’d rather avoid eggs.
Why not cook up some Capellini Caprese instead?

Don’t let the word Capellini scare you away from this recipe.
In fourteenth century Italy a variety of long pasta shapes were created and they each had a local name.
Well, everyone needs a hobby.

Here are a few of their inventions:
Capellini ("thin hair") is a very thin variety of Italian pasta, in the form of long strands.
Capelli d'angelo ("angel hair pasta")  is an even thinner capellini. 
Vermicelli ("little worms") is round and similar to spaghetti.

As very light pastas, they are usually served in soups or with seafood or with other light sauces.
If you prefer them with a heavier sauce, that could work, too.

Hints:

Don’t have capellini?  No problem.  Use any thin pasta.
In a rush?  Pick up a cooked rotisserie chicken.

You can use 3 Cups halved grape or cherry tomatoes.
Two Cups cooked thin pork strips can be used instead of the chicken.
You can also add mushrooms, green pepper strips, corn and / or broccoli.

Use your favourite Italian Dressing - store bought or homemade - as spicy or as mild as you like.


                        Capellini Caprese

In a large pot place
4 quarts water
salt to taste
Bring to a boil.
Add
1 pound capellini  
Cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente.
Drain the pasta well.

While the pasta is cooking, pour into a large non-stick skillet
3/4 Cup Italian Dressing (you can use more or less)
Heat on on medium-high heat.
Add 
1 onion, finely chopped 
2 cloves garlic, minced
Stirring constantly, cook 2 minutes.
Add
3 regular tomatoes, chopped
2 Cups cooked chicken, sliced in thin strips 
Cook 5 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
Add pasta to tomato mixture. 
Mix lightly.
Place pasta mixture in a large platter.

Sprinkle with
1 Cup mozzarella cheese, shredded 
1/3 Cup fresh basil, finely sliced

Capellini Caprese is also good cold.
Yes, it's nice to have it all ready in the fridge after enjoying a day out.

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