Since our big move we’ve been grilling rather frequently. The combination of a quiet neighborhood and comfy porch has, despite the uncomfortable heat, lured us outside to man a punishingly hot grill. The previous owners of the house were even nice enough to leave us an immense gas grill, but we usually stick to our tiny charcoal version, perfect for two people. Luckily for me, Gourmand enjoys manly pursuits such as grilling, so I get to avoid the heat while drinking Rum and Tonics in the comfort of the living room while he sweats outside.
While I am accustomed to cooking for adult humans, a friend recently visited with her toddler and after brainstorming a dish that both adults and nonverbal small people would enjoy, I came up with the following smokey, filling, delicious pasta. Toddler and all, we woofed it down greedily.
The grilled vegetables give the dish a great smokey flavor, while the day long marinated chicken is tender, juicy and subtle. The distinct flavor and juice of each vegetable provide their own sauce so there is no need to add a hot, thick ragu more appropriate for winter. A simple combination of olive oil, garlic and vinegar do the job nicely. Finish the pasta off with chunky slices of fresh Parmesan and you have yourself a wonderful meal.
Grilled Vegetable & Buttermilk Chicken Fettuccine (serves 6)
For the chicken:
1.5 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs
4 cloves minced or pressed garlic
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
For the vegetables:
1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 ears corn
1 yellow squash
3 spring onions
Salt and Pepper
For the pasta:
1 lb fettuccine
2 cloves pressed garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
In a large bowl combine chicken, olive oil, lemon juice, buttermilk, garlic and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate at least 6 hours.
Thinly slice zucchini and squash and quarter onions. Toss all vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill all vegetables on high heat until just charred and beginning to soften, using a grill basket if you have it for the cherry tomatoes. Times will vary depending on the vegetable, so be vigilant. Once finished set the vegetables aside and cook the chicken until slightly charred, but still tender, about 5 minutes per side.
Chop and toss the vegetables and chicken in a large serving bowl, set aside.
While the chicken and vegetables are cooling cook fettuccine in salted water according to package instructions. Al dente will be about 10 minutes. Toss the warm pasta with the chicken, vegetables, and mixture of pressed garlic, olive oil and vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with Parmesan cheese and enjoy.