I can almost foresee my menu for the next 7 days, it will be pasta, pasta and pasta. It’s something quick and I can prepare in the morning to be reheated when H returns for lunch. Not to mention, I have few more packets to finish. Have I told you I “collect” pasta shapes?
Anyway, those who cook for me (my mom, my dad, my mother in law, my husband) know my predilection towards acidity. I am forever adding lemon and tabasco to a dish that tastes perfect to everyone but me. I’ve been told off by the Italians not once, not twice, but five times that I ruined their dishes (twice in Singapore at a separate restaurants, once in Sienna, once in Rome and once in Toulouse). I blame this on my grandma who raised my mom, then me, beside a big pot of Sayur Asem, an Indonesian tamarind-base (spicy) vegetable soup.
So for me, the hero of this dish is the lemon. Not from the lemon juice, but from sauteing the lemon zest together with garlic. I also like that the cream-broth mixture tones down the saltiness of the capers. H still picks out his capers, but when the dish is this delicious and simple, I don’t mind at all. Besides, my capers are going down, down and down.
LEMON PEPPER MAFALDA WITH CAPERS & CHICKEN
(inspired by The Kitchn)
Mafalda enough for 2
2 garlic cloves, minced
Zest of one lemon – gently run the lemon against the grater once and in one direction, turn the lemon and repeat.
2 tbsp olive oil
100 gr boiled, shredded chicken breast
3/4 C chicken broth – I used a left over chicken soup, filtered. Extra awesome.
1/3 C cream
2 tsp capers, drained
1/2 tsp black pepper – start from 1/4 tsp and add more towards the end.
pinch of sea salt, optional
- Cook your pasta till al dente.
- In a pan, heat up 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic and lemon zest. Saute until the garlic just begin to brown.
- Add the shredded chicken and the black pepper. Toss few times before adding the chicken broth and turn up the heat. Cook until the broth has reduced by half.
- Turn down the heat back to medium and add the cream and capers. Stir few times and cook to your desired thickness/ creaminess.
- Drain the pasta and put into the pan. Toss and adjust seasoning: more lemon zest? pepper? pinch of sea salt? Plate, garnish with a dash of black pepper and serve immediately.