Chicken Pasta Primavera

The other day “The Boy” also called “Big Pete” says “You are not bringing your best game to the kitchen”. He says “You need to create some different dishes, like you used to”. Now, my first reaction is to give him a karate chop to the neck but, with great restraint, I held back. I did remind him that the average family in Dallas eats out 5 days a week. I was about to give him my “do you know how good you’ve got it man speech when I realized he was right. So, I made something different today! This is a medley of vegetables and a bit of chicken if you like. This is my version of Pasta Primavera.

Of course, you can quite easily substitute any of your favorite veggies. I like to cook everything separate and then toss it all back at the last minute.  Make this with or without meat.

You will need:

  • 3 slices bacon -chopped into small pieces
  • 4 slices of good quality Italian salami -sliced
  • 1 chicken breast – sliced into strips
  • salt/pepper (at every stage)
  • 1/2 small onion diced fine
  • 1 1/2 cups or so of broccoli florets
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes slice in half
  • 1 large handful of spinach – sliced into strips
  • 4-5 basil leaves – sliced into ribbons
  • 3-4 green onions – sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic- minced finely
  • 1 tsp dry Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp chili flake
  • more great quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil – mine was a medium from the Riva Garda region of Italy for drizzling
  • 1 tbsp or so of great quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 -1 lb box of dry penne pasta
  • more salt and pepper to finish with some fresh grated Parmensano Reggiano cheese.

  Step 1: put on some Andrea Boccelli and pour yourself a glass of wine and just slice, dice and chop everything  before cooking. Once this is done you can start cooking things in batches. If you prefer the tomatoes uncooked just toss everything as you cook it into a giant bowl. Put a big pot of water on the stove to boil.

Step 2: on a medium low heat cook the bacon until approximately half cooked, then add the salami and once both are crispy remove from pan.

Step 3: in the same pan add the onion  plus salt and pepper and cook until slightly browned approx 5-7 minutes

Step 4: cook chicken with 1-2 tbsp olive oil and some salt and pepper, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning and chili flakes, remove from pan once browned.

Step 5: with more olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper (it really is important to season at each stage) cook zucchini until nicely browned and remove from pan.

Step 6: add a bot more oil and the broccoli cooking for 2-3 minutes with more salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute more. The water in the tomatoes cooks the small broccoli pieces perfectly al dente.

Add chicken and all the other cooked components back in to toss for 1 final minute.

 Add the spinach and green onions and garlic and anything else you may have chopped up!

Pour into a giant bowl add another drizzle of raw olive oil, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and some Parmesan cheese. Taste it! if it needs more seasoning add it.

Eat it !

Shaved Street Meat on the Rotisserie – Kebab

Flavours of Greece!…lemon, oregano, garlic, mint, basil.


Spicy Middle Eastern Flavours of garlic, chilies, cumin, coriander, horseradish.

You can make this big kebab with Greek flavours or Middle Eastern flavours and spices or Italian etc…The goal is to take meats pound them thin, spice and season them generously, place some vegetables in between and slowly roast them to perfection. Shave the meats, add some fresh vegetables, pickles or spreads and roll it up in a pita or wrap for the perfect fun dinner that can feed a big crowd!

You will need:

(this recipe is great for 4 people but you can easily double it)

Spicy Middle Eastern Flavours

  • you need a grill that has a rotisserie or a spit to roast the meats
  • 2 chicken breasts (or 8 chicken thighs if you prefer the dark meat or both!)
  • 2 pork loin chops or 1 pork tenderloin
  • 2 green onions-minced fine
  • 3 cloves garlic-minced fine
  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme – leaves removed
  • 3-4 fresh sage leaves-minced fine
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro (or basil if you prefer)
  • 2 tsp grated fresh horseradish
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground celery seed
  • 1 tbsp oregano (I prefer dry but, fresh is fine too)
  • 1 tbsp Greek mixed spices or Mediterranean spice blend
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh chili (or you can roast it in pieces on the kebab you are making)
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 lemon – sliced in half (this is to go in between slices of meat)
  • 1 onion – sliced in half (this is to go in between slices of meats)
  • 1 red pepper (this is to go in between slices of meats)
  • 1 hot chili pepper (this is to go in between slices -any left over can be a topping)
  • 1 green pepper (this is to go in between slices or as a topping)
  • 3 tbsp rum and 3 tbsp olive oil for brushing while roasting the meat.
  • pita breads(thin are best) or wraps
  • your favourite sauces or schmears!! like hummus, tzatziki or baba ganouche
  • some fresh lettuces or tomatoes, cucumbers or peppers or pickles

Greek Flavours

  • add same meat amounts
  • 3-4 cloves garlic – minced fine
  • 2 lemons – 1 zested finely , then sliced into 3 portions
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 green onions – chopped finely (or you can place all these aromatics into a food processor)
  • 1 small white one – minced finely
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 5-6 basil leaves – minced fine
  • 20 fresh mint leaves – minced fine
  • a handful of fresh parsley – minced finely
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 onion – chopped in half (for roasting in between meats)
  • 1 green pepper (for roasting in between meats)
  • take 1/2 of one of the lemons and squeeze over meat while turning
  • pita breads – warmed to make soft and pliable -I put them in a small dry pan and flip a few times
  • tzatziki or baba ganouche (you can use good quality store bought)
  • tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, hot pickles or hot chilies for an assortment of toppings


Step 1: take lots of aromatics, chop fine or throw them all in a food processor and create a paste. In the above recipes these are all ingredients in the top portion of the recipes (the bottom portion is for topping details)

Step 2: take your choice of meat and gently pound thin to make the meat uniform. The chicken is very tender you don’t need to pound hard but the pork chops can take a bit more since they tend to be a more tough meat. I have only used 2 chicken breasts and 2 pork chops and you can see how small you can make the pieces. My pieces were about 3-4 inches when flattened.

Step 3: add all your aromatics and spies to the meat and coat well. Cover and leave in fridge at least 1 hour to marinate. Chop the veggies you want to add in between every few slices of meat to add more layers of flavour.

Step 4: here is the messy part! Add a lemon or onion on the end, then a few slices of meat, add a pepper, more slices of meat, a ring of lemon, more, meat etc…. end with another end of lemon and squish it together to get it nice and compacted.

Step 5: grill on medium low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check it often and squeeze on some lemon juice or baste with a bit of rum and olive oil on the spicy version.

Step 6: gather all your toppings, slide meat off rotisserie or slice it down if you are brave enough! At this point you can serve it as is or if you want the meat crispier. Take your slices and quickly fry in a pan!

pile on the toppings and devour!!