At Ristorante Firenze in Reisterstown, the Leonardi family focuses on Tuscan-inspired dishes and familiar Italian favorites. The Leonardis come from a storied Baltimore culinary tradition; as children, owners Brian and Larry Leonardi worked in their uncle’s Little Italy restaurant, Velleggia’s, and as adults, they opened the Casa di Pasta restaurants.
Ristorante Firenze’s chicken Oscar fettuccini puts a Chesapeake spin on the popular chicken-and-crab dish. Instead of drizzling the crab with hollandaise, Chef Zachary Leonardi makes an Old Bay-spiked sauce of cream and Parmesan cheese. Served over lump crabmeat, chicken and asparagus, the rich sauce adds zing to simple, fresh ingredients.
Chicken Oscar Fettuccini
Yields 1 serving
1 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast
¼ cup all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup dry white wine
2 ounces butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning, plus extra for presentation
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for presentation
¼ cup jumbo lump crabmeat
4 pieces asparagus, blanched
5 ounces fresh fettuccini, cooked al dente
1 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
1. Place a frying pan over high heat.
2. Lightly pound chicken breast and dredge in seasoned flour.
3. Once pan is hot, cover the bottom with olive oil and add chicken. Saute the chicken until brown on one side, about 3 minutes.
4. Turn chicken to other side, and turn the heat down to medium. Add white wine to deglaze the pan. Simmer for about 3 minutes.
5. Dredge butter in flour and add to pan, along with heavy cream, Old Bay, Parmesan cheese, crabmeat and asparagus.
6. Simmer until chicken is cooked through (holding an internal temperature of 165 degrees for 15 seconds) and the sauce has thickened, about 2-3 minutes.
7. Toss the cooked pasta with a spoonful of sauce and nest on a large plate or bowl. Top with the chicken breast, asparagus, crabmeat and remaining sauce.
8. To present, sprinkle with parsley and dust the plate with Old Bay and Parmesan cheese.