Getting creative in the kitchen

Fri, 04/24/2020 - 11:00am

So, I think we can all agree that self-quarantining with our families has forced a lot of people to cook more and to get creative in the kitchen. This pasta is delicious and is also very versatile, using many items from your pantry. Don’t have all of the ingredients required? Try…

• Subbing out the fresh mushrooms for canned mushrooms (drained)

• Instead of onions, use leeks or shallots

• Subbing out the chicken for a bag of frozen shrimp (or do without either as the sauce is ‘that good’ on its own)

• Instead of heavy cream, use light cream or half and half

• Replace the fresh basil with chopped parsley or cilantro

Linguini with sun-dried tomato cream sauce

1, 8.5 oz. jar sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil), julienned or coarsely chopped, oil reserved

1 large onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

1 pint mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup dry white wine

4 cups boneless chicken breast, cooked and shredded into bite-size pieces (about 3 boneless breasts)

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1 Tbsp. dried basil

1 heaping Tbsp. cornstarch

1 cup milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup parmesan cheese, plus more on the side for sprinkling

1 pound linguini pasta, cooked al dente

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves chiffonade (or chopped), plus more for garnish

Heat the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes in a deep skillet and sauté onions, and garlic over medium heat until soft and fragrant. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine to the pan and simmer until about 1/2 of the liquid has cooked off, another 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the sun-dried tomatoes, chicken, salt, pepper, and dried basil to the pan and mix to combine. Whisk the cornstarch with the milk in a small bowl. Pour into the pan and add heavy cream. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently until the sauce comes to a low boil and begins to thicken. Stir in the parmesan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until sauce is rich and thick. Toss the fresh basil and pasta in the sauce until coated.

Serve hot in bowls, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and fresh chopped basil to garnish.

For more of Pam’s recipes, visit