All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013
To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.
The fusilli require THIS amazing Kitchenaid pasta press and the stand mixer. If you do not have these things, dry pasta is fine or make a homemade pasta of a different shape.
The sauce is a lighter take on one of my favorite sauces that really consists of little more than a nice Dijon & lots of heavy cream heated in a pan. This one is made without the cream but with yogurt, instead. It is naturally tangier than it would be with cream and, honestly, I prefer the heavy cream but I also prefer fitting into my pants, so – we do what we have to.
The faux chicken is really just frozen albacore that I buy at Trader Joe’s. It looks like this raw
These two pieces weighed .85 pounds and cost $5.35. I am not a huge fan of this inexpensive fish cooked the way albacore should be cooked (nor am I a fan of most of Trader Joe’s frozen seafood as I find it tends to cook up fishy) but when this fish is overcooked it replicates chicken breast pretty incredibly with no fishy element whatsoever. This dish could be made with actual chicken or shrimp or with only the cauliflower – if you do not eat meat or seafood.
I added a ton of cauliflower, too, because 1) I like cauliflower and 2) it is a guiltless filler in a pasta dish that might get sorta rich (especially if you use heavy cream).
Finally, I used a store brand Dijon & was woefully aware it wasn’t Grey Poupon (or other higher end mustard). In a mustard based sauce – it is kind of important to start with a quality mustard.
Homemade Fusilli Pasta with Faux Chicken (Albacore) and Cauliflower in a Mustard Sauce
For the pasta
400 grams (or 1 3/4 cups) flour
1 tsp salt
OR – 1 lb dry pasta of your choice
For the mustard sauce
2 albacore steaks (or chicken breast or 1 lb shrimp)
1 small head cauliflower – leaves removed & cut in half
1 medium onion – diced
2 cloves of garlic – diced
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS fresh thyme – chopped
1 cup stock (or water)
10 TBS high quality Dijon mustard
1 1/3 cups plain yogurt
S&P to taste
Fresh parsley – chopped for garnish
Tomatoes – diced for garnish
Parmesan for garnish
For the pasta
Homemade pasta directions HERE
Or use dry pasta.
For the faux chicken & cauliflower in mustard sauce
Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Cook the albacore several minutes on each side until cooked through. Or – do the same for your real chicken or shrimp.
When cooked, remove from pan & cube it up. You cannot really overcook this albacore & if you undercook it – it will cook through when you heat it in the sauce. Chicken & shrimp CAN be overcooked – so be more careful with those – if you are using them.
Add onions & garlic to the pan (add more oil if you need to) & saute until the onions begin to brown. Add the stock, mustard, yogurt & thyme and stir until smooth. Add the cooked “meat” and S&P to taste. Heat through. Simmer it to thicken or add more water to thin it out.
Boil the water to cook the pasta. Add the halved cauliflower & boil until tender. Remove with a slotted spoon & cut into bite-sized pieces.
Cook your dry pasta according to directions adding the cooked cauliflower in the last minute to reheat. Or – add the cooked cauliflower to the pot with homemade pasta & drain when done.
Top the pasta & cauliflower with the mustard sauce & garnish with diced tomato, parsley & Parmesan ((f using). Add lots of fresh cracked pepper.