1 1/3 cups dried unsweetened Mission figs, stemmed and chopped
2 6-oz cooked chicken breasts, chopped, warm
4 oz blue cheese, crumbled
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
Cook linguine al dente according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water and drain. Return linguine to pot and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium-low. Add shallots, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are tender but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add vinegar. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced by about one-third, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in broth and figs and simmer until liquid is reduced by half, 4 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Add shallot mixture to linguine and stir to combine. Place on low heat and cook until heated through. Stir in chicken and cheese. (NOTE: If mixture appears dry, add reserved pasta cooking water in 1 tbsp additions to reach desired consistency.) Stir in basil and divide among serving bowls.
Boost your mood with this classic Italian dish. Chicken is an excellent source of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps your body produce niacin. It also produces serotonin, a hormone linked to relaxation, restfulness, and an overall feeling of well-being.
Skip the trip to your neighborhood trattoria this week and try our über-rich and indulgent pasta instead. Mascarpone and Parmesan cheeses join forces to make it creamy, while mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and chives give it fresh, bright flavor.