A Visit to Eataly in NYC

and the dinner that followed…

As a Chef there is nothing I like more than to peruse the aisles in a food store. I find that every store and neighborhood has its own unique character. When traveling, I especially love wandering in local markets to get a taste of the culture. People connect through food and I find that you can learn a lot about different cultures by studying the food they eat. I will pretty much eat anything, or at least try it, except for the time I went to a traditional Japanese restaurant with my Dad and he insisted on ordering the special called Namako even though he had no idea what it was in English. He promised it would be good and pushed the Chef to serve it to us even after he had tried to dissuade us. What we received was a beautiful plate with five raw sea slugs on it. I literally thought they were suctioned to the plate. Now, Namako is a delicacy in Japan but I had to say “no, thank you” and Dad was left on his own to eat those slugs as to not insult the Chef. So I guess the lesson here is to at least have an idea what you’re ordering before your order it. By the way, Dad to this day swears they were delicious….

I do love to experiment with different flavors and spices. If I see something I have never seen before I get excited thinking about how I can incorporate it into a recipe. My husband, Mark, often doesn’t understand how much time I can spend in a market but honestly I just really love it. There are so many different types of food that gives you an endless source of ingredients for new and exciting recipes. Of course they’re not all winners but there’s knowledge in failure too. So if a dish doesn’t turn out the way I want it to I just try again.

Having been cooped up in my apartment for a bit too long I decided to pay a visit to Eataly located on 23rd and Fifth in NYC. Upon entering the store I began to swoon over the beautiful displays of Italian cookies, pastries, cheeses and meats. I took my time and walked slowly through the store while the aromas and sights brought back many memories of my visits to Italy. I chatted with the lovely gentleman making fresh mozzarella as he handed me one that he knew was going to be perfect then I walked over to the woman making fresh pasta and I was immediately struck by the tiny cacio e pepe raviolini that had just been prepared. Hmmm, cacio e pepe stuffed inside of pasta? That sounded delicious and interesting. I decided that had to be dinner that night. A sauce prepared with diced chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, shallots and a touch of cream would be perfect with the cacio pepe pasta. The pepper and cheese would definitely shine through a recipe like this. This would be a perfect dinner: Antipasto platter; fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil; and the cacio pepe pasta. Oh and a big plate of their tomato focaccia to compliment the antipasto and dip into the pasta sauce.

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Pasta with Chicken, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Spinach

Chicken, sundried tomatoes, spinach and a touch of cream
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: chicken, pasta
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 567kcal

Ingredients

  • lb cooked fresh pasta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup shallots minced
  • 1 lb chicken tenders cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ½ cup sundried tomatoes sliced thin
  • 3 cups packed baby spinach
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 leaves basil

Instructions

  • Add olive oil to pan
  • add shallots and cook for 2 minutes
  • add cubed chicken and cook on all sides – about 5 minutes
  • add sundried tomatoes and saute for 1 minute
  • add chicken broth and simmer for 3 minutes
  • mix in cream and parmesan cheese
  • add baby spinch – I like to tear it up a bit
  • let simmer for 5 more minutes until spinach is wilted and chicken is cooked through
  • add pasta and served with shaved parmesan and basil on top

Nutrition

Serving: 1person | Calories: 567kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 157mg | Sodium: 305mg | Potassium: 468mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1765IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 5mg

And the results….

Antipasto Platter

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