Saturday, June 6, 2009
When I used to work in Downtown Los Angeles, my friends and I used to love to go to Hotel Figueroa for lunch. The Hotel Figueroa is an 80+ year old hotel at 9th and Figueroa...the inside was old fashioned adobe/plaster and during the spring and fall, I loved to eat out on the patio by the pool. Whenever I went there, I always had the same thing. It was my favorite: Capellini Pomodoro. I was in love with it. Well, fast-forward 11 years and I'm not working in Los Angeles, I don't live in So Cal, and I will probably never eat at the Hotel Figueroa again. I still love Capellini Pomodoro and thought I'd never have it again.
Culinary exploration, however, has led me to the amazing discovery that "Capellini Pomodoro" is warm bruschetta with chicken pieces served over warm capellini (angel hair pasta). I now make my own Capellini Pomodoro and it is fabulous. Frankly, it is fabulous enough that when the kids start smelling the balsamic vinegar, garlic, and basil melding together, they lounge around the kitchen, waiting for dinner.
So, if you want something amazing and simple at the same time, try Capellini Pomodoro. If you're in downtown Los Angeles, head to the Hotel Figueroa and see if they still serve it. Either way, you'll be getting an amazing meal.
Erin's Capellini Pomodoro
Inspired by the Hotel Figueroa
Directions for Bruschetta:
8 Roma tomatoes - chopped
1 small zucchinin - shredded
1 small onion - diced
2 tsp. ground basil
1 clove of garlic - minced
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
Combine all in bowl and set aside.
Directions for the chicken portion:
2 chicken breasts - diced
white pepper (black will work)
1) Cook the diced chicken on the stove in olive oil. Season with basil, garlic, white pepper, and salt. When chicken is done, turn off flame, but leave in skillet.
2) Set a pot of water to boil. Once it is boiling, add one package of capellini (angel hair pasta). It takes about 3-4 minutes to cook capellini at a rolling boil--don't overcook, you'll have a soggy mess.
3) While the capellini is boiling, turn back on the flame for the skillet and add the bruschetta mixture to the chicken. You don't want to "cook" the bruschetta, you just want to combine it with the chicken and warm the whole thing.
4) As soon as the capellini is done, drain it and serve. Top with the chicken bruschetta mixture and add a little more grated Parmesan if you'd like. Serve with warm baguette.
** Bruschetta is also really terrific as a salad dressing/topping. Crisp greens topped by bruschetta and served with a crusty bread made a wonderful lunch.