Instructions & Ingredients
Prep time: 20 mins / Cook time: 30 mins / Serves 4
- 4c. Kaslo Sourdough Classic Rotini pasta (or your preferred Kaslo shape, but make sure it’s white so it turns pink!)
- 1 red beet
- 1 medium sized chicken breast per guest
- 1/2 tbsp. butter per breast
- salt & pepper
For the sauce:
- 1.5c. whipping cream
- 1/4c. butter
- 1c. grated parmesan
- 1 1/2 tbsp. minced garlic
- salt & pepper to taste
For the garnish:
- finely grated parmesan
- sage leaves
- white cheddar cheese garnish (shaped into mini hearts)
- First things first – take your chicken out of the fridge, remove the covering, and let it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes. This will help it cook more evenly than it will if it’s ice cold from the fridge, and by letting it air dry, it will get a crispier outside than if it’s wet. BUT, don’t push your luck: chicken cannot sit out for more than 2 hours before it becomes a health hazard. Don’t forget about them, and make sure you’re ready to cook after those 30 minutes are up (set an alarm). DO NOT rinse or wash your chicken.
- Next, put your pot of water on to boil. As I’ve mentioned before, one of the best things about Kaslo’s pasta is that it cooks in a flash! So don’t add the noodles to the boiling water until I instruct you to further down the recipe. If the water reaches a boil before you need it to, reduce the heat to medium-high and cover.
- While you wait for the water and chicken, take this time to grate your parmesan, mince your garlic, and prepare your cheese garnish. For the cheese hearts, simply take a cheese slice and using a paring knife to freehand carve out mini hearts.
- Ready to make the chicken? Lightly grease the bottom of a glass baking dish with butter. Lay the chicken breasts in the dish, and coat each one in the melted butter, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Always remember to season your meat before cooking it – the flavour will come out so much tastier instead of adding seasonings afterwards.
- Bake the breasts at 400° for about 18-20 minutes. Halfway through cooking, feel free to remove them from the oven and baste with the butter from the dish. You’ll know they’re ready when the internal temp is 165F, and they’re just browned. Feel free to broil them for a minute or two to amplify this (but keep a careful eye on them during broiling). Once it’s done, remove it from the oven and let the chicken rest before you slice it. Resting means letting them cool for about 5 minutes before cutting. This prevents the juices running out, and losing all of that delicious flavour! That’s why it’s important to use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken is cooked without having to cut it open. After they’re done resting, slice them into thin strips.
- While the chicken is in the oven, let’s get to work on the sauce! This is a simple recipe, but not one you can step away from. Be sure to stay on top of it, as it requires constant whisking to prevent burning.
- Start by melting the butter on low heat. The key to this dish is low-and-slow. After the butter has melted, add the minced garlic, and lightly sauté until the garlic is cooked down, but not quite browned (about 3 minutes). After that, start slowly whisking in your whipping cream, and turn the heat up to medium.
- Once the whipping cream is completely heated through, you can start sprinkling in your parmesan cheese, whisking as you go. The reason we add these ingredients in one at a time? To prevent curdling! Adding cheese and milk/cream together when the liquid is still cold can create gummy chunks that are near impossible to melt down later. Always heat your liquids through first to sidestep this and achieve that smooth, silky consistency we’re after.
- Now whisk it, whisk it good! Whisk that creamy, garlicky, cheesy sauce until it’s your desired consistency. I usually do this for a good 20 minutes, raising the heat to medium-high while I whisk, and lowering it to minimum with a lid on while I prepare the pasta and chicken. Add a dash of salt and pepper during cooking.Speaking of pasta, let’s turn the heat back up to high on your water, and toss the noodles in! Cook according to package instructions, and strain. This only takes about 8 minutes.
- While the pasta is cooking, cut the beet into quarters and place in a heat resistant vessel. Bring a cup of water to a boil (using a kettle or pot), and pour it over the beets to release the natural dye. After about 5 minutes, remove them from the water and toss them into the freshly strained pasta. Now stir it up and watch the beets do their magic!
- Once your noodles reach the desired pink you like (I prefer a pale pink), fish the beets out. The beets are only used for dyeing the pasta, and you won’t be eating them in this dish. You can reserve the cubes to cook in another dish at a later date, or put it in your compost afterwards.
- Alright fam, is your pasta dyed, your sauce thick, and your chicken breast done resting? Hopefully we timed that all out perfectly!
- Arrange your pink pasta on a large plate, and spoon that delicious sauce over top, but make sure to not cover all of the noodles! Let those pink spirals stand out. Place the sliced chicken breast on top, and garnish with the cheese hearts and sage.
- Serve with parmesan for sprinkling, and a side of sautéed green beans, broccoli, or a caesar salad – or just enjoy on it’s own with a generous slice of garlic bread!
And be sure to pair this with an excellent rosé, like the one I’m featuring here – this sparkling pink bubbly is from Arrowleaf Cellars, a gorgeous winery out in Lake Country where I grew up. This effervescent beauty is perfect for Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, or any day you want to add a touch of sparkle!