Have you ever looked at one of your beloved recipes only to think "what ever possessed me to try this in the first place?"
I do that.
The ingredient list can be so bizarre that I scratch my head and wonder what stars aligned to make this dish taste good. This recipe is like that for me. Every time I make it I am amazed that such a simple but strange combination of ingredients can yield so much flavor. And what surprises me even more is that I don't even like raisins in savory dishes...they just don't belong. Usually. Yet in this dish they are absolutely necessary to the overall flavor profile of the dish that I would never leave them out. I love the little pops of sweetness among the earthy perfume of the rosemary.
You know what else is strange about this pasta dish? There's no sauce. Yep, you heard me right...weird ingredients and no sauce. I know I'm probably not selling this pasta dish very well, but let me tell you no sauce is necessary for the huge bursts of flavor you get from the individual ingredients. It's simple and delicious. It will surprise you.
Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson
½ of a 3 1/2 pound deli roasted chicken (or if you roast your own, this one and this one are both perfect for this recipe)
2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Leaves from 1 rosemary sprig, minced
¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
¼ cup sultana raisins
½ pound tagliatelle
Salt & pepper
Put on a big pot of water to boil. Salt it well.
While waiting for the water to boil, take your deli roasted chicken (or take the time to roast your own chicken) and begin to pull the meat off the bird. You only need about 1/2 of the chicken. Include all the beautiful brown roasted skin. Chop the chicken into pieces.
When the water boils, add the tagliatelle and cook according to package directions.
Lightly toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan over medium heat. Add the raisins to a small bowl with warm water. Chop up the fresh rosemary...this is no time to substitute with dried. The flavor of the dish comes from the fresh, earthy flavor of the rosemary and would not be the same with dried.
If using a deli roasted chicken, pour any chicken juices that have accumulated into a small saucepan along with 2-3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.* Add the rosemary and pine nuts to this mixture and simmer over medium-low heat until the pasta has finished cooking. Once pasta is done, drain it and toss with the chicken, drained raisins, and olive oil/rosemary/pine nuts. Toss and then season really well with salt and pepper. The flavors are so basic that you can't skimp on the salt and pepper, so season and then taste and then season again if it needs more. Pile into a large serving bowl. Top with more fresh rosemary and serve.
*If using a chicken you roasted, don't bother with the olive oil and just toss the pasta with all the roasted chicken juices.
Click here for printable version of Tagliatelle with Chicken, Rosemary & Pine Nuts
Phenomenal. The flavor is complex, but simple and delicious. I love that you can pick up a chicken from the deli and throw this dish together in the time it takes to boil the pasta....yet it tastes like you spent way more time on it. Everyone in our house, including my toddler loves this dish.