I’ll be the first to admit I’ve gotten a little lazy in the kitchen this summer. It’s been too damn hot to hang out anywhere near the stove for too long, so we’ve had lots of sandwiches and quick, one-skillet meals.
Looking ahead, I’m excited about the cooler months to come so I can share some of my favorite “meat on your bones” meals. Until then, and in honor of the heavenly (but brief) respite from the triple-digit temperatures the other day, I served a dish that I believe will be the perfect compliment to the transition from summer to fall.
About a dozen or so years ago, one of the many Mexican restaurants in my small hometown added something they called “Italian Nachos” to the menu. I remember it as being a creamy, tangy, crispy concoction that was a nice change of pace from the usual beef and bean routine.
I did my best to recreate it, and while I wasn’t wild about my “pasta chips” and ended up eating this over white corn tortilla chips, my husband inhaled a plate of these nachos made to the recipe as well as a bowl of the ingredients tossed with pasta later that evening.
The great thing about this is that you can offer the toppings and have family members pick out what they do or don’t want. You can also omit the chicken breasts if you’re looking for a meatless meal.
Usually, I make my own Alfredo sauce, but as I mentioned, I’m a little lazy these days, so I used a jarred garlic Alfredo sauce that was pretty fabulous.
24 wonton wrappers, cut into fourths
¼ cup olive oil
1 egg white
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups Alfredo sauce, homemade (*see below) or jarred
2 cups shredded mozzarella
Any combination of the following:
1 jar sliced black olives
1 large tomato, diced
1 jar sliced banana peppers
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup shaved Parmesan
1 cup capers
To make “pasta chips,” brush wonton wrappers with oil and beaten egg whites, bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until slightly browned and crispy.
Pound chicken breasts to 1 inch or less thickness, season with salt and pepper and sauté in a well-oiled skillet. Let sit for two minutes then slice or cube as preferred.
To assemble: Layer pasta chips, (or tortilla chips or spaghetti noodles) with Alfredo sauce and cheese. Place in microwave or under broiler long enough to melt the cheese, then cover with chicken and assorted toppings.
1/4 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through.