Money Matters: Chicken Marsala Pasta

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My mom cracks me up sometimes. A lot of times, actually.

When I’m driving home after class at night, I usually call my parents to catch up. Last night, I was chatting with my mom (as she was making the Goat Cheese, Spinach, and Tomato Quiche…which she later texted, “it is beautiful”) and she told me a story about her boss at the gym.

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My family has belonged to the same gym for YEARS and it just so happens that my mom’s boss also works out there. My mom said she was on the elliptical 2 machines down from him and then she transferred over to the treadmills which are right in front of large, full-length mirrors.

My mom said she looked at herself and noticed then that her shirt was not only inside out, but backwards, too. She said the tags were hitting her chin and she hadn’t noticed until then. Oh, what her boss must think…ha!

If you know my mom, that story is probably a bit funnier. But even still..seriously, ma!?

chickenmarsalapasta3After that story she said that she was going to make a few lasagnas and have an impromptu get-together with some friends of theirs. This came as no surprise as my mom loves impromptu entertaining…and pasta.

I immediately starting thinking how much my mom would love this dish. Not only the pasta, but the mushrooms and the marsala. It was my first time cooking with marsala wine. I wasn’t even sure I knew where to find it in the grocery store…and I know my mom would wonder the same. However, it was right there by the vinegar at my local Kroger…for $1.91!

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To keep this pasta dish rich, but still lower in calories and fat, evaporated milk is used. I believe for this reason, it doesn’t reheat all that well…making it the perfect recipe to entertain with!

This recipe has been on my “must make” list for some time, and it did not disappoint. Plus I have a personal tie to chicken marsala…it’s one of the entree selections that as offered at our wedding :) Because, it’s that good.

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Chicken Marsala Pasta from Cook’s Illustrated, as seen on Sunny Side Up in San Diego, So Tasty, So Yummy, and What’s Cookin’ Chicago?

13.25 oz box whole wheat penne pasta
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 small onion, sliced into thin 1-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz cremini mushrooms, quartered
3/4 cup Marsala cooking wine
12 oz can 2% evaporated milk
2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup part-skim mozzarella, shredded
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

Directions:

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente, drain and reserve some of the cooking liquid.

In a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat; add olive oil to heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper; add to the butter and oil and cook through. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.

Melt the butter and remaining tablespoon of oil and add the onions to the pot, cook for 3 minutes stirring occasionally. After 3 minutes, stir in the garlic and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes. The onions should be starting to get a little color by now.

Slowly pour half of the Marsala wine into the pot and scrape up any bits stuck to the pan. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, then add the rest of the wine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and slowly stir in the evaporated milk. Add the cheese stirring constantly. Cook the sauce for several minutes until it starts to thicken, then add the pasta and chicken. Stir to coat the pasta. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings (about 1 cup pasta with 3/4 cup chicken, mushrooms, and sauce).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 515 calories; 13.5 g. fat; 58 mg. cholesterol; 381 mg. sodium; 60.1 g. carbohydrate; 7.2 g. fiber; 35.5 g. protein

Result: This dish has been floating around the blogosphere and I’m glad I finally got the chance to try it…very good! My only complaint is that this dish didn’t reheat well. If you enjoy mushrooms and chicken marsala, this is a great recipe to try. Enjoy!

Money Matters: Chicken is $2.99/lb and pasta is $1.10 a box. Cremini mushrooms are $2.99/lb (my 3/4 lb came to $2.24). Onion ($0.50), evaporated milk ($1.20), marsala wine (1/2 bottle – $0.96), 2 ounces of high quality Parmesan at $7.99/lb ($1). Along with the estimated cost of the remaining ingredients, the total cost of the recipes calculated to $10.87 and $1.81 per serving).

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It can finally be said…TGIF! I am anxious to try one of those beers Mr. Prevention got me for Valentine’s Day to ring in the weekend. A girl probably shouldn’t admit that before the run rises, huh?

Be well,

Comments

  1. says

    Chicken marsala is one of my favorite dishes. I think it’s because it reminds me a lot of my childhood. My dad used to make it all the time!!

    I’m imagining your mother on the treadmill with her shirt inside out and backwards. That’s DEFINITELY something I would do!! In fact, one day AT WORK I realized my shirt was inside out….how embarrassing.

  2. says

    That kind of stuff happens to me all the time, especially when I get changed into my gym uniform at school. I almost always put my shorts on inside out and usually I don’t realize it until I’m already out of the locker room. LOL!

    Chicken Marsala is one of my favorite Italian dishes. Love that you were able to lighten it up, I know the traditional version is super rich!

    • Nicole, RD says

      Crazy! I did buy the Kroger store brand…maybe that’s why? I had no idea it could be pricey…never purchased any before! I will be curious to see what prices are at other stores.

  3. Jenn says

    Tell your mom if it makes her feel better… my first day at my first real job out of college I got super dressed up. Pretty pencil skirt, nice blouse – I felt SO professional. It wasn’t until my boss had given me a tour of almost the entire (male dominated) office that either of us realized my oh-so-professional skirt was busted along the zipper. From waist to thighs, exposing my whole backside. I’ve never been more embarrassed! I hysterically called my mother on my way home to change– and she laughed until she cried!!

    • Nicole, RD says

      Oh….my…gosh! You POOR thing! I would be mortified. You’re a good sport! And P.S. I read your comment yesterday on my phone and it made my day…just getting around to telling you so now :) Happy weekend, Jenn!

  4. says

    Your Mom and I would get along just fine – my work out clothes have also been backwards, inside out and usually full of stains. :D

    $1.91 for marsala wine?? I think I paid like $15 for mine (which is now gone). This is one of Tony’s favorite dishes – he’s asked for pizza tonight though! Maybe I’ll put this on my menu next week.

    And yes, WHEN we meet, you will then find out what Tony’s real name is! :D

    • Nicole, RD says

      You’re the second comment saying marsala is so spendy. Huh! I just double checked my receipt – $1.91. Maybe because it was the Kroger brand? :-/

  5. says

    A beer sounds like the perfect way to start a friday!
    I have put my shirt on the same way sometimes before I go to bed…and yes, with the lights on! I just grab something real quick and put it on. Later, I’ll go to the bathroom and notice it. ha.

  6. says

    Ha ha! This made me laugh out loud. One time my mom came home from her trusty neighborhood walk along a very busy bike/jogging path with her t-shirt also on backward and inside out. I busted up laughing as soon as she walked in. She was so embarrassed, but a good sport about it. We still joke about it sometimes. :)

    This pasta looks great! Love me some Marsala!!

  7. says

    Marsala isn’t too expensive. You can get it at the liquor store for about $12 (which is almost as cheap as you can get for wine in Ontario). I imagine that people could find it in the States for a lot less than that.
    That’s funny that Kroger has their own brand of masala.

  8. Lauren says

    If you are planning your diet and trainings, check out this blog: militarygradenutritionals.com/blog. For me it’s an excellent source of information on fitness and right nutrition. I’ve learned there a lot of things which helped me organize my trainings and eating habits.

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