I grew up eating pasta of every shape and size. From the time I could stand on a chair and see over the kitchen counter my grandma had me by her side rolling pasta and gnocchi. Meals of fresh noodles coated in butter and asiago cheese were common. Chicken noodle soup was chock full of rolled linguine noodles. Leftover mashed potatoes were combined with flour and eggs to make gnocchi, delicious potato dumplings topped with my grandma’s tomato sauce. There was always rows of canned tomato sauce from the previous summer lining the basement wall waiting to meet hot noodles. If one food defined my childhood it was pasta.
One evening when I was visiting my brother and sister in law I volunteered to make dinner. I set to work mixing and rolling the dough for pasta noodles. A pot simmered on the stove with tomato sauce. I proudly presented the meal that had met many smiles on my families table. The room went flat. They politely ate it but no one asked for seconds or sang my praises.
I was heart broken.
I found out that it wasn’t that the food was bad, it was that spaghetti (and pasta in general) just wasn’t something they ate. It had never really crossed my mind! In the back of my head I still wondered how I would get along with a spouse who didn’t share my love of pasta. It took years until finally a meal of lasagna or fettucini alfredo was safe to place on the dinner table. Then we got the diagnosis that my husband had celiac disease. My pasta dreams were dashed again. I prepared to mourn the passing of noodles again – until I discovered rice noodles!
As I sat down to contemplate a dish to make with Saffron Road Foods Lemongrass Basil Simmer Sauce, pasta jumped in my head. I wanted to make something that had a mix of Thai and Italian flavors – I know it’s not a common combination but I knew it would work. The best part of this dish is that it’s versatile. I used the vegetables I had on hand. If you have others feel free to substitute. Tofu, shrimp or a thicker fish like cubed salmon or tuna could also work in this dish.
- 1 lb chicken breast cut in cubes
- 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
- 1 cup Saffron Road Chicken Broth
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup sliced zucchini
- 8 oz rice noodles
- 1 package Saffron Road Lemongrass Basil Simmer Sauce
- chopped nuts (any nut works)
In a large pan heat 2 Tbsp of grapeseed oil. Once hot add the cubed chicken and brown on all sides. Toss the chicken with 1cup of chopped carrots and 1 cup of chicken broth. Simmer on medium heat for 5-8 minutes. Follow the directions on the package of rice noodles to prepare them.
When the carrots have softened a little, add the zucchini and simmer sauce to the pan. Stir to combine and coat everything in the pan. Cook to the tenderness you prefer. If you like soft vegetables, allow to simmer 15-20 minutes. If you like a crisper taste 10 minutes. When the chicken and vegetables are cooked to your taste, toss in the rice noodles, making sure they are coated in the sauce. Be aware that rice noodles break down quickly so do not add until the last moment.
Before serving sprinkle nuts on top. You can also serve with a wedge of lime on the side for an added burst of acid.
I would love to know what your ideas are for this simmer sauce. What would you make?
Disclaimer: I was compensated for writing this post, however all recipe ideas and other opinions expressed are my own.