Garden Basil Bucatini with Parmigiano Reggiano

Garden Basil Bucatini with Parmesan_By Natalie ParamoreWhat better simple pleasure is there than a fine cheese? Well if you’re me, not much! Truly, I can make an entire meal out of cheese and it’s practically a major food group in my diet. BMW doesn’t consider it a meal unless there’s meat involved and I sorta feel the same way about cheese. Ok maybe not every meal but you know what I’m sayin! I usually find just about any excuse to add a sprinkle here or there to juuuuuust about anything haha.

This recipe came about after a few things happened. First, I attended this amazing cheese event with Parmigiano Reggiano. Yes! There is actually a whole entire consorzio over in Italy dedicated to Parmesan! Not to be confused with the green bottle of ’90’s childhoods but actual real, delicious parmesan. The event was hosted by Parmigiano Reggiano at Antonelli’s Cheese Shop with local chef extrodianire Drew Curren of Italic, Easy Tiger, 24 Diner, arro and soon to be Irene’s. At the event we tasted three different types of parmesan and they walked us through the differences in each. It can’t be called Parmigiano Reggiano unless it’s been aged for at least 12 months and has the official dotted rind, so look for that when you’re shopping. We got to taste the milder 14 month cheese which is hard to find in the US simply because after it ages for hard to get here in time to be sold as a 14 month. The 24 month is the most common and middle of the road perfect for everything cheese and the 36 month is a bolder, stinker cheese that can add that distinct¬†flavor to any dish!¬†

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Quick & Easy Pasta Lunch

First off, thanks everyone for bearing with me the past month as things slowed down here on the blog a little bit. I switched jobs, so was a little busy distracted adjusting to a new routine. Needless to say, loving the new gig but happy to be settling into a new groove and ready to get back to blogging!

Since I’ve written a lot about breakfasts lately, I decided to do a few lunch posts! Today it’s chicken pasta salad! And I even made it the super easy cheater way. This is one of those perfect make it on Sunday or Monday and eat it a few times throughout the week!

You’ll need:
1/2 lb short pasta noodles
1/2 lean chicken breast
1 cup mixed frozen vegetables
2 tablespoons pesto or Italian dressing

Super easy y’all!

I grilled me chicken. You could cook it in the pan. Once cooked through, dice into 1/4inch cubes.

And yes frozen pre-cut veggies. Told you this was the super easy cheater way!

Boil the pasta until tender.

Next cheater move, pour the frozen veggies into the boiling pasta water. Bring back to a boil then cook for another 3 minutes or until tender.

Drain water from pasta and veggies.

Put the veggies, pasta and diced chicken back into the pot. This is some serious one pot cooking y’all. Stir in the pesto or Italian dressing.

Now it’s to time to eat! Super easy! Best part about this dish is you can eat it hot or cold and make plenty ahead of time and eat a few meals out of it. My favorite way to make weekday lunches.

What’s your favorite weekday lunch?