If you’ve looked at my dinner recipes you’ve probably noticed that I love a good cream sauce with my meat. If you know me you also noticed I’ve gained a few pounds because of it.
Where does this love for cream sauce originate? Well it’s not in Southern Italy as they might have a lot of fettuccine, you won’t see any Alfredo along with it. Which in my case was very disappointing. They prefer a sauce made with tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil and fresh basil or just a little olive oil with mushrooms and capers.
Northern Italy favors more dairy based sauces, because they have flat land which is more conducive to raising cattle, which in turn produces cheese, butter and cream. This is where you’ll find homemade egg pasta topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano.
So was it in the United States where we brought together the Northern and Southern Italian flavors and created Fettuccine Alfredo, because it tastes much better with a cream sauce? I’d say everything tastes better in a cream sauce.
With this Italian meal and I’m saying it’s an Italian meal because I’m going to make my egg pasta from scratch, dredge my chicken in Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and yes add garlic a staple in about every Italian dish. Serves 4 (1 breast per person)
Ingredients for the chicken:
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, butterflied
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil for frying
Ingredients for pappardelle pasta:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Extra flour for dusting
Ingredients for lemon garlic sauce:
Juice from a lemon and zest from half of it
6 cloves of garlic, minced
4 tablespoons of butter
6 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pasta: in your Kitchenaid mixer bowl add the flour and salt and mix together using the whisk attachment. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add your eggs and oil. Use your hands to blend the eggs into the flour. It’s going to get sticky, so add some flour to your hands. When the pasta dough is throughly mixed remove the whisk attachment and replace it with the dough hook, knead the dough until it’s smooth and you can press your finger in it and it comes back. When done put it in a plastic bag or plastic wrap for 20 minutes or more at room temperature.
After the 20 minutes cut the dough into 4 pieces using a bench scrapper. Using one piece at a time, keep the other pieces in the bag or plastic wrap. Put the dough roller on your Kitchenaid. Using speed two and level one put the dough through the roller. Trifold the dough like a letter going into an envelope and put it in the roller again. Repeat 3 times. Then change the level to 2 and roll, 3 and roll, 4 and roll, 5 and roll. Dust flour on both sides and put in roller on final level 6. You should have a pretty long piece of pasta. Cut it in half with the bench scrapper. Fold each piece like a ribbon the cut into 1/2 “ pieces. Unfold, dust with flour and set aside. Repeat with the other 3 pieces that are in the bag or plastic wrap. The pasta is ready to be cooked in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes. Reserve a cup of pasta water, drain the rest.
Chicken: in 3 shallow dishes add the bread crumbs in one, the eggs in another and finally the parmigiano cheese in the last one. After you butterfly your chicken salt and pepper both sides then dredge in the cheese, dip in the egg and press the chicken into the bread crumbs. Shake off excess. Pour the oil into a skillet and heat on med/high. Place chicken in skillet sprinkle with dried parsley and cook on both sides until golden brown. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Sauce: in a large skillet on med/high heat add the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic cook for 1 minute. Add in the butter and cream and 4 tablespoons of the pasta water and stir to combine. And in the pasta, mix well. Top the pasta with the chicken, cook for a minute or two to warm up the chicken. Serve. Yum Yum!