Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Spaghetti with Chicken and Shrimp in a Chimichurri Sauce

So this is a recipe I got out of Giada De Laurentiis's book Giada at Home.  I checked out this book at the library along with the Real Simple magazine book last week. I have one more week until I need to return it so I figured I better get my free use out of it. As I did last weekend, I gave the book to Hubby and asked him to pick out what to eat. (I'm really enjoying this method of cooking. This way, if he doesn't like it, I can blame him for requesting it!) This is what he chose. We had some shrimp in the freezer and I always clean and cut up chicken and keep it in portions in the freezer so we were good to go.

My only experience with chimichurri sauce is at a South American restaurant we have in town that serves chimichurri sauce along with it's plantain chips. It's so, so good. Chimichurri sauce is actually, as Giada states in her book, the A1 steak sauce of Argentina. (Who knew? Giada apparently.) Hubby and I both like the chimichurri sauce at that South American restaurant so he asked to try it. I decided to buy some plantain chips from the store so I can dip them into the chimichurri sauce a la the South American restaurant we love.

The result? The chimichurri sauce was so good!! It tasted so scrumptious with the plantain chips. I ate a bit too much while I was cooking, but thankfully there was enough left for the dish.

This recipe is actually meant to be a main dish, grilled chicken and shrimp with a chimichurri pancetta sauce drizzled over it. Hubby recommended mixing it all together into a pasta dish after tasting a bit of the sauce because he thought it would make for a good pasta sauce. And so it did! I did not eat any of the chicken or shrimp, but I did try a taste of the spaghetti with the sauce and it was really good. I also omitted the pancetta. I felt it had enough protein and didn't want to add anymore. (And it was another step to the recipe that I didn't want to deal with.)

Click here for the original recipe

Ingredients for Chimichurri Sauce
1 cup olive oil (I know, a lot!)
3 garlic cloves, briefly chopped
1 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves or 2 tablespoons dried (I used fresh because I find dried oregano to be too pungent for me)
1/3 cup red wine vinegar (I only had red cooking wine so I used that, but I noticed it didn't have the punch that I experienced at the restaurant and will next time use red wine vinegar)
juice from one lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for chicken, shrimp and spaghetti
2 chicken breasts cut into small pieces
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used frozen because I did not want to clean the shrimp)
1 clove garlic
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 bag of spaghetti
salt, pepper and dried oregano

1. Marinade chicken with one clove of garlic and sprinkle with salt, pepper and dried oregano. Let marinade overnight (If possible).

2. Cook spaghetti according to directions on package.

2. For the chimichurri sauce. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the garlic, parsley, oregano, vinegar, 1 cup olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Pulse until smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

3. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to pan and heat at medium high heat. Add chicken and 1 Tablespoon of the chimichurri sauce. Cook until completely brown.

4. Take out shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Add to pan with chicken. Add another Tablespoon of chimichurri sauce, mix together. (Because the shrimp was frozen it let out a lot of water when cooked so I poured as much out as possible and then returned the pan to heat)

5. Once shrimp is cooked through, add pasta and half of what is left of the chimichurri sauce and toss.

Dinner is served!

Amateur Cooking Difficulty Scale: 6
This is a fairly easy dish to make, but it has multiple parts so I bumped up the score. Hubby really liked it, but I'm not sure if he liked it as much as I liked dunking the plantain chips in with the chimichurri sauce!

I'm pretty sure I'll be making this again. Or at least I'll be making the chimichurri sauce again!

What do you eat chimichurri sauce with? Send me photos of your version of this dish! 

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