One of our favorites…

Once upon a time, right after college, my grandma gave me a gift subscription to a great little magazine: Cooking for Two. I loved it – I was living on my own and didn’t need tons of food hanging around to tempt me. And then Andy and I got married, and the magazine was still great; after all, there were just two of us. (Granted, sometimes that meant no leftovers, but if it wasn’t a great recipe, we weren’t stuck eating it for weeks on end… like that one time with the failed chili mac.)

And then, one day, tragedy struck: The publisher discontinued “Cooking for Two.” Apparently, families of two are a small and shrinking market. (My guess is that many of the couples that started out cooking for two suddenly found themselves cooking for three, four, five… funny how that happens.) 

Thankfully, before the magazine folded, they published this recipe. And, one day, Andy stumbled upon it and suggested we give it a try. I made a few tweaks (mushrooms? um, no thanks.), and the rest is history. Apricot Chicken Pasta has become a staple at our house. It’s easy, fast, and very tasty. In fact, it’s the first “real” meal I cooked when we put our kitchen back together after the big remodel last year.

Apparently, I added some chopped parsley when I made this batch. Totally optional.

Apricot Chicken Pasta

1/2 cup dried apricots, thinly sliced
9 teaspoons of white wine or chicken broth
1 chicken breast, diced
1 cup bowtie pasta
Olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 1/4 teaspoons soy sauce
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Cracked black pepper

In a small saucepan, combine the apricots and wine/broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. (I try to time this where I have the pasta done at the same time as the rest of the dish, but I’m not always successful with this. If your pasta gets done before you have the rest thrown together, simply drain it and set it aside.) 

Saute chicken breast pieces in olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until opaque and cooked through. Add the garlic when the chicken is nearly done and saute till fragrant (another couple minutes). Pour the cream and soy sauce into the skillet and cook until slightly thickened, about five minutes. Add the cheese, stir till melted and remove from heat. Stir in the onions, apricots and toasted almonds. Season with pepper to taste. Toss with cooked pasta and serve hot.

I like serving this with either a tossed salad or broccoli on the side. For days that I’m really pushed for time, I throw the broccoli in with the pasta and cook it that way. Bam! One-plate wonder! 🙂 

Adapted from Cooking for Two/Taste of Home.

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