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Farfalle with Chicken, Tomatoes, Onions, and Goat Cheese

You might be thinking that this dish looks very similar to another that I recently blogged (the Pasta Primavera). They both have pasta, tomatoes, and goat cheese. But that's pretty much the only things they have in common.

The flavors of each dish are quite different. The pasta primavera has a nutty, cheesy sauce (if you could even call it a sauce); and this dish's sauce is made with a white wine reduction and chicken broth. Very different flavors.

I didn't expect to love this dish as much as I did. The Mister (who actually did most of the cooking) and I both went back for second helpings. The warm chicken, pasta and vegetables wilt the bed of raw spinach leaves ever so slightly. The leaves retain enough crunch to add a nice contrasting texture to the cooked pasta. And the warmth melts the goat cheese on top to a creamy consistency that melts into the dish.

The recipe is also somewhat healthy. According to SparkPeople's Recipe Calculator, the dish has less than 400 calories, and only 8 grams of fat, half of which is monounsaturated (the healthy kind). This dish would be just as filling and delicious if the chicken were omitted, so feel free to leave it out for a vegetarian meal. 

Farfalle with Chicken, Heirloom Tomatoes, Onions and Goat Cheese
Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 8 ounces farfalle
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth or stock
  • 1 pound mini heirloom tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ cup thinly sliced basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 3 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Directions

  1. Fill a large saucepot with water and set over high heat to boil. 
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add the red onions. Season with kosher salt until the onions begin to soften and turn brown (about 8 minutes). 
  3. Salt the boiling water in the saucepot, and add the pasta. Cook to al dente, according to the directions on the package. 
  4. Reduce the heat to medium, add the vinegar and sugar, and cook the onions are caramelized (brown), about 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions to a bowl. Drain the pasta. 
  5. Deglaze the skillet with the wine, scraping with a wooden spoon to remove any stuck bits of food. Cook over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, until the wine is reduced to half a cup. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until it begins to brown. Add the pasta, onions, broth, tomatoes, basil and marjoram to the skillet, season liberally with salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat until the chicken is fully cooked. 
  6. Divide the spinach leaves among the serving plates. Spoon pasta mixture over spinach, and crumble goat cheese over each plate. 

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