Yep, that’s right I used baba and tossed in my pasta…..with GRAPES! Say what!? People, you need to trust me on this one and it’s even toddler approved.
I don’t know where half the ideas for my recipes come from other than I get a craving for something and then don’t sleep until I make it. Yesterday the idea of tossing some pasta with a smathering of baba ghanoush just popped in my head. Nothing is better than a straight forward pasta dish with a simple marinara, but sometimes we all want a little strange. Know what I mean?
This recipe is super simple and takes virtually no time to make. You can prep your baba early in the day and then snack on it before dinner. ; ) And what do you know, I have a recipe for it.
I paired this pasta with a za’atar (check for this spice mixture in the middle eastern aisle of your grocery store or go online and get it through Penzy’s or another favorite spice house of your choosing) rubbed panko crusted chicken breast. The flavors married very well together.
So try this, you’ll love it!
Baba Oh Really
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, filleted into 3 slices each. (I was able to feed 2 adults and 3 small chicken with this amount of chicken and still have a few leftover pieces) You can also cut the chicken breasts in half and pound it paper thin if you don’t want to fillet it.
2 palmfuls of za’atar (also sometimes spelled zahtar if you’re looking for it in the store, I bought mine at Williams-Sonoma)
1 cup of panko
2 TBSPN granulated garlic
Sea salt, to taste
Hot shot (red and black pepper mix), to taste
About 1/2 cup baba ghanoush (see recipe above or find it under my recipe link)
2 heaping TBSPN mascarpone cheese
2 TBSPN butter
About 1/2 cup or 1 small bunch, of black seedless grapes
1 package of Spaghetti Jim’s fresh pappardelle pasta (for you locals, he’s at various farmers markets, a few local shops, or you can go to his new store on South Airport next to Big Apple Bagels)
Olive oil for sauteing
Lemon wedges for serving
Take 1 palmful of the za’atar, 1 TBSPN granulated garlic, and the panko and mix together. Set aside for dredging.
In another bowl, beat the two eggs with the remaining granulated garlic, some sea salt to taste and the hot shot to taste. Set aside for dredging.
Season the chicken with the other palmful of za’atar until all chicken breasts are evenly coated and feel free to sprinkle on a little granulated garlic to the chicken breasts too, I did. I LOVE LOVE LOVE garlic.
Start your pasta water boiling at this point. The pasta is only going to take a few minutes to cook because it’s fresh and you want to time it just right. And make sure you salt your pasta water.
Coat the chicken breasts in the egg wash first and then the panko. Saute in some olive oil over medium-high heat until golden brown on both sides. Since the chicken breasts are thin this shouldn’t take more than a 3-4 minutes each side.
Your pasta water should be boiling right when you start your last batch of chicken. Drop the pasta at this point, cook until al dente, drain, and toss with the baba, mascarpone, butter, and grapes. When the butter is melted and the baba is complete incorporated nicely over all the pasta, it’s ready. And what do you know, the last pieces of chicken should be coming out of the pan at this point.
Serve with a lemon wedge for drizzling.