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shared meals with friends

Like the days when a family would gather at the grandparents house for Sunday dinner, we are fortunate enough to have such an experience most every weekend. We have close family friends whom we met when our boys played on the same youth football team. Most weekends, we gather on Saturday night and cook together, play games, or simply sit around the table and share stories. Sometimes the cooking is very simple, something one of us has made for our families for years, but often times, we get out cookbooks or the latest issue of Food & Wine, and select something new to try. I’d like to share with you the latest recipe we enjoyed.

This recipe we adapted from Giada De Laurentiis, Everyday Pasta. We generally don’t have all the right ingredients, for one reason or another, so we just play with the recipe to fit our needs.

Roman-Style Fettuccini with Chicken Serves 4-6

¼ cup olive oil 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves. salt and freshly ground pepper 1 red pepper, sliced 1 yellow pepper, sliced 3 ounces prosciutto, chopped 2 garlic cloves, chopped 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juice ½ cup dry white wine 1 tbl chopped fresh thyme 1 tsp chopped oregano (we used basil) ½ cup chicken broth 1 ½ lb fettuccini (we used tagliatelle pasta) 2 tbl drained capers ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper chicken and sauté until brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside.

Keeping the same pan over medium heat, add the bell peppers and prosciutto and cook until the peppers have browned and the prosciutto is crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes and their juice, wine, thyme, and oregano (or any Italian herb that you like). Using a wooden spoon, scrape up all the yummy brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan, add the broth, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 20 or 30 minutes. Enjoy a glass of wine or a game of cards while you wait.