Mark Kahwaty's | Chicken Pasta Alfredo
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (preferably organic air cooled), cut into strips about 1/4 inch wide
1 box dry pasta (preferably Dececco or Barilla - fettuccine), or of 1 lb fresh home-made egg pasta
1 cup shelled fresh English peas or frozen young peas
1 medium Roma tomato, pealed, seeded and diced
1 small onion, diced
1 or 2 cloves of garlic (up to eight if you like garlic), peeled and pressed
2 cups of heavy cream (use half-and-half for a lighter sauce)
4 Tbs unsalted butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly grated imported Italian Parmesan cheese (preferably Reggiano) and some additional for passing with the cooked pasta
Sea salt (preferably from Trapani, Sicily) and fresh ground Tellicherry pepper to taste
To cook the pasta bring a large pot of water to the boil (add about 1 or 2 Tbs of sea salt after the water boils). While waiting for the water to boil, quickly saute the sliced chicken breast in hot olive oil/butter; after a couple of minutes, add the diced onions and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes until the onions start to caramelize. Lower the heat and add the pressed garlic; saute for about 30 to 45 second. Lower heat under the saute pan to the lowest possible.
The water should be boiling, so add the pasta to the pot and cook following the directions on the box until the pasta is al dente. If using fresh pasta , cook for a few minutes and taste to be sure the pasta does not over cook, as fresh pasta cooks very quickly.
While the pasta is cooking, turn the heat under the sauteed chicken back up to medium and add the 2 cups of cream (or half-and-half if using it), the butter and stir as the sauce thickens. Do not boil the cream. As the sauce thickens, add the grated cheese and continue to stir the sauce until it coats the back of the spoon. Add the diced tomatoes and cook for another minute or so. Lower the heat to as low a setting as possible.
Drain the pasta and put it into a large warm serving bowl, pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to mix it well.
Serve immediately with extra grated Parmesan cheese, toasted crusty Italian or French bread and a chilled white Italian wine, such as a Tokai from Friuli.
Enjoy with your family or friends.