Tonight’s dinner came about through a combination of otherwise unrelated events.

The first was taking a couple of chicken breasts out of the freezer Saturday and then doing other things for dinner both Saturday and Sunday.

The second was catching part of Ciao Italia on PBS and seeing Mary Ann Esposito  cooking up all sorts of different cauliflower recipes.

The third was I picked up yet another three boxes of pasta at the store today, to go with the six or seven varieties that were already in the cupboard. Considering Victor makes so much of our pasta, it’s rather ridiculous to have four boxes in the house. Ten borders on insanely ludicrous.

I thought it prudent to come up with a pasta dish, tonight.

Unless you’re doing individual breasts, chicken in a pasta sauce can get lost really easily. It needs other things to carry it along. I had the cauliflower because I had intentionally purchased it with no idea of what I was going to make with it – thank you, Mary Ann. I also had some roasted red peppers and some artichoke hearts.

A recipe formulated…

Rigatoni with Cauliflower and Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • sm can artichoke hearts in water
  • sm jar roasted red peppers
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper

Saute chopped onion in a bit of olive oil. Add minced garlic and quickly saute. Add chicken breasts and barely brown.

Add 1 cup red wine and cook down to about a half-cup. Add cauliflower florettes, tomatoes, chopped artichoke hearts and chopped red peppers. Add a few red pepper flakes and S&P, as desired.  bring to boil, cover, and reduce heat.  Simmer about and hour or until cauliflower falls apart.

Check for seasoning and add additional red pepper, salt, and pepper, as desired.

Serve over your favorite pasta.

Had I not had the chicken breasts that really needed cooking, this would have been a great vegetarian dish. The chicken was unnecessary. On the other hand, big ol’ Italian sausages would really go well cooked in the sauce.  It didn’t need a lot of seasonings – the ingredients, themselves, did the trick.

I served it with a crusty and airy braided Sicilian bread I picked up at the store.

And I think there are cookies for dessert.