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Take the chill off winter days

As winter chills settle in, one way to warm up from the inside out is with family meals centred around a delicious bowl of comfort food like pasta, soups and stews. Recipes courtesy of Bertolli.com.

By planning your weeknight menu to include wholesome, organic foods made with no artificial flavours, artificial colours or high-fructose corn syrup, you can create hearty and flavourful dishes in the New Year that will have everyone in the family eager to dig in.  With a high-quality, organic sauce in your pantry, you can quickly whip up a warming and indulgent winter dish while still keeping your resolutions to cook with more quality ingredients. For example, this recipe for Campanelle with Prosciutto and Peas uses creamy Alfredo sauce, made with organic cream, aged Parmesan cheese and spices, is sure to become a cold-weather family favourite.

Campanelle with Prosciutto and Peas

Cooking time:
10 minutes

Preparation time:
10 minutes

Servings: 6

350g uncooked campanelle pasta
1 tbsp Bertolli Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup frozen peas
85g thinly sliced prosciutto
1 jar (400g) ready-made creamy pasta sauce
100g Fontina cheese, shredded
6 eggs
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

In a pot of salted water, cook pasta for two minutes less than directed on package, then drain it. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and shallots. Cook for three to four minutes, or until softened. Add the wine; cook for another three to four minutes or until most liquid has evaporated. Stir in the peas, prosciutto, Alfredo sauce and cheese. Add the pasta; toss gently. Cook and stir for a minute or two to coat the pasta with the sauce.  In a saucepan, bring water to boil and add the eggs. Cook for six minutes. Transfer the eggs to ice water and cool before peeling.  Top each serving with soft-set egg and black pepper.

Notes: Gouda or Gruyere can be substituted for Fontina. Unpeeled, cooked eggs can be stored in a refrigerator up to one week.

Easy and delicious chicken with linguine

½ tsp ready-made vegetable sauce
1.3kg (six to eight pieces) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 tsp salt
½ tsp pure olive oil
450g  whole wheat linguine
225g cremini mushrooms, sliced (potential substitutes: portobello, shiitake or button mushrooms)
½ cup small onion, diced
85g baby kale
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ cup white wine (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat the sauce in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet, skin side down, and cook for three to five minutes or until the skin is crisp and deep golden brown. Turn the chicken over and cook for three to five minutes.

Remove the chicken from the skillet, leaving the fat in the pan. Set the skillet aside to be used later. Add the chicken to the heated sauce in the skillet in a single layer, skin side up, with the skin just above the surface of the sauce. Cover and place in a conventional oven for 40 minutes.

Boil water for the pasta. Remove the cover from the skillet and let cook in the oven, uncovered, for an additional 10 minutes.

Cook the pasta al dente per package instructions and drain.

Heat the reserved skillet with fat over medium-high heat; add the cremini mushrooms and onions, and sauté until lightly browned. Deglaze with white wine (if using) and cook until dry. Add the kale to the mushrooms and toss gently to wilt.

Remove the skillet from the oven and gently transfer the chicken to a large plate.

Add the pasta to the sauce in the skillet and stir gently to coat.

Place a portion of the pasta in a bowl and create a well in the middle. Spoon the mushroom-kale mixture into the centre of the well and top with a piece of chicken. Shave Parmesan cheese over the dish to finish.

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