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Pasta Shells with Chicken, Mushrooms & Capers

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Serves two generously.

It's preferable to use chicken thighs here because the flavor of the dark meat marries nicely with the hearty, savory character of this dish, but if you prefer, substitute breast meat. Here's a great place to use good-quality salt-cured capers (soaked in water for 15 minutes and rinsed) if you can find them.

  • 1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 1-1/4 cups warm water for 30 minutes
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 4 oz. button mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3/4 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs (3 to 4 thighs), cut into bite-size pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6 to 8 oz. dried pasta shells or farfalle
  • Splash of sherry vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. capers, rinsed
  • Grated Romano cheese for serving (optional)

Strain the porcini, reserving the soaking liquid. Squeeze them dry, chop them into small pieces, and set aside. Strain the soaking liquid though a fine sieve or a paper coffee filter; set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for cooking the pasta. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and 2 Tbs. of the butter. Add the fresh mushrooms and cook briskly, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and most of their liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the shallot, garlic, rosemary, and the drained, chopped porcini. Cook, stirring briskly, until the shallot is soft, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken pieces, season with salt and pepper, and cook for another 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and the reserved porcini soaking liquid; bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 12 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until just tender. Drain the pasta, leaving drops of water clinging to it, and add it to the skillet. Add the vinegar and capers; heat gently for a few minutes to let the pasta drink up the juices. Stir in the remaining 1 Tbs. butter and taste for salt and pepper. Serve warm with the grated Romano, if you like.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on two servings; Calories (kcal): 880; Fat (g): 39; Fat Calories (kcal): 360; Saturated Fat (g): 15; Protein (g): 48; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 17; Carbohydrates (g): 79; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4; Sodium (mg): 990; Cholesterol (mg): 190; Fiber (g): 5;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Great dish! I used mixed dried mushrooms vs just porcinis; morels, porcini, black trumpets & chanterelles. I think the variety helped bump up the flavor. Really loved this and will make it again!

This dish was very quick and easy to make. I also thought it was a little bland, however I did us chicken breasts instead of thighs and fresh mushrooms instead of the dry. Possibly using the exact ingredients the recipe stated would have given this recipe more flavour

When my son and his wife came to stay the night, I made this for dinner, and everyone including Mr. gave it a "C". Really bland. Saved the l/o's and will add alfredo to it, and something else. Don't know what yet.

Such a good pasta dish! Nice because it doesn't have a heavy sauce. Would definitely make again.

Wonderful meal, lots of leftover for the family!

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