I’m a big fan of quick, simple suppers during the week. Both Matthew and I work long, and oftentimes erratic hours, so I’m all about getting meals on the table that are quick, tasty, nutritious and fun! One such meal is my chicken & tomato sauce for pasta.
This is the ultimate in quick, easy, tasty food – it’s totally adaptable and works well with a range of vegetables, meats and additions – it’s perfect for when you have lots of odds and ends in the fridge that you want to use up. So, for example, this time around I used lardons and spinach in amongst my usual ingredients, because we had them in – I’ve marked such additions as ‘optional’ in the ingredients list.
Funny story – I did lovingly take step-by-step instructions for this recipe…but I forgot to put my memory card into my camera. You just can’t get the staff, amirite? So I’ve written out the recipe below, but please forgive me the lack of pictures.
Ingredients (serves 3-5, depending on appetite)
Salt & pepper
Garlic & chilli (as desired)
2 chicken breasts
Lardons, bacon or pancetta (optional)
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 cup spinach (optional)
1/2 cup diced onions – I use Asda’s frozen ones which are genius
1 jar passata
2 tbsp tomato puree
A ‘slosh’ of red wine (optional)
1 bunch fresh basil
Pasta to accompany
1. Add your olive oil, salt & pepper, and any chilli or garlic you desire to a large frying or saute pan. When it comes to garlic and chilli I know we all have different opinions. In this house I use the ‘very lazy’ jars of both, because I love simplifying things! We do a coffee spoon of each – a teaspoon is a little too much.
2. Over a medium heat, add your onions and lardons and cook for five to ten minutes, until the lardons have started to crisp and the onions get glossy. Add your chicken breasts and allow to cook thorugh, turning occasionally.
3. Put your pasta water on to boil, and slice up your veggies (peppers & courgette) while you wait for the chicken to cook through.
4. Take the chicken out of the pan and using two forks shred it into smaller pieces. Add the shredded chicken and the vegetables back to the pan and stir through. You can also add any additional veggies such as spinach or mushrooms now too. Add your pasta to the boiling water.
5. Add your passata and tomato puree to the pot, along with the wine. Heat through over a medium heat. Slice or tear your basil and add to the sauce.
6. Drain your pasta, top with the rich, tomatoey sauce, and serve!
This sauce is also delicious made in a slow cooker, ahead of time – slow cooking really brings out the tomato flavours. If you’re at home for an afternoon, pop this on at lunchtime and by suppertime you’ll have a delightful dinner. For this version, add all of the ingredients at the beginning, apart from the basil and wine, which you’ll want to add half an hour before serving.