By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal
Week before last, I was in Oxford on business and had the good fortune to take my daughter, a new coed at Ole Miss, to lunch. I told Mary to pick the place and she said, “How about Bouré? I’ve already eaten at two of John Currence’s other restaurants.”
Seems it doesn’t take a foodie’s daughter long to sniff out good food.
In the two weeks she’s been in Oxford, she’s already had breakfast at Big Bad Breakfast and lunch at Snackbar. With Bouré under her belt, that leaves only City Grocery on the to-do list. (She’s waiting on Mama and Daddy to foot the bill for that meal.)
At Bouré, which has moved off North Lamar and onto the Square, Mary chose a grilled shrimp po-boy with sweet potato fries. I ordered the day’s special, a Mediterranean pasta dish (I don’t think it had a name).
Mary enjoyed her po-boy immensely, but the pasta I ordered was the star of the show. It was a generous portion of deliciousness.
About halfway through it, I pulled a scrap of paper from my purse and jotted down the ingredients I could see and the ones I couldn’t, but thought might be in there.
I tried to re-create this dish at home Sunday night for company. I wouldn’t say it was as good as the one at Bouré, but I enjoyed it as did our guests and son Patrick. My husband said it wasn’t his favorite. Go figure.
12 ounces penne pasta
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 cup red onion cut in half-inch pieces
1 (6-ounce) bag fresh spinach, stems removed
1 (2-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
3 heaping tablespoons capers
1 cup chopped tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes, halved)
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
2 cups cooked, diced chicken breasts seasoned with 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
1⁄2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
Cook penne in a Dutch oven according to package directions. Drain.
While pasta is cooking, sauté garlic and onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil until fragrant, about 2 minutes, in a large skillet. Add spinach and cook until wilted, tossing often, about 2 minutes.
Add hot pasta to spinach mixture and toss to mix well. Add olives, capers, tomatoes, artichokes and chicken. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and toss gently, letting mixture cook over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes to let cheese melt and flavors meld. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide mixture among 8 salad plates. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon Feta cheese and serve immediately.
Makes 8 servings.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.