I‘ll be honest, I’m a massive foodie but I do not Love living in the kitchen and I can’t bear to slave away cooking for hours at a time (unless it’s an important occasion). I do however, really enjoying making my family simple yummy meals from scratch that are also quick and easy. Now when I say scratch, I don’t mean making the pasta from scratch using a food mill (if you have time to do that then good for you!). The key to quick eating is simple: always stock up on dry ingredients in the cupboard and have some sort of veg in the freezer. That way your possibilities are endless, and I could think of a million different variations of this meal. If your a vegetarian leave out the chicken, if your a pescatarian replace it with prawns or any seafood of your choice.
Now lets get to the fun stuff, to feed 6 people here’s what you will need:
1 Packet of Dried Pasta – I’ve used Fusilli because the kids love it (we call it twirls)
1 Sweet Pepper
1 Packet of Mushrooms – I’ve used frozen sliced mushrooms (saves time skinning, washing and chopping, also handy to keep in the freezer)
650g or 3 large Chicken Breast Pieces
Half a Tube of Tomato Puree
3 Cloves of Garlic
The juice of 1 Lemon
A Stock Cube
Any Dried Herbs you have to hand – I used Basil, Oregano and Mint
Salt and Pepper for seasoning
Olive Oil for a little frying
Now that you’ve sourced the ingredients, follow this Method:
Boil: – Medium Heat for Everything
Fill up 1 Hot Water Kettle and boil (saves time waiting for it to naturally heat up on the hob), empty the contents into a pot, add a generous sprinkling of salt and watch it bubble away. Now add the dried pasta and allow it to boil until aldente (soft but firm – like boobs pre-pregnancy). Then Drain and put to one side.
Chop up the Chicken and Pepper into your desired size of cubes. Now Crush the Garlic Cloves, Tip: don’t bother skinning the garlic, pop the clove whole into the garlic press, it will crush it all the same and no skin will come out of the other side (your welcome, stolen off Jamie Oliver!).
Using another pot, add about a table spoon of Olive Oil (or any other oil) and throw in the diced Peppers. Wait until the Peppers soften, now add the garlic and Chicken. Stir to get an even colour on the mixture. Now add the mushrooms (if frozen, no need to thaw).
Now Add salt and pepper (to taste), Crumble in the Stock Cube, Sprinkle your Herbs and Combine. Next Add the tomato puree and Squeeze in the lemon juice. Stir and add 1 cup of water. Allow to Reduce for 5 minutes.
Now Return your drained Pasta back into the pot you boiled them in. Slowly Pour the Pasta Sauce over the pasta (apparently you should NEVER do it the other way, don’t ask me why I just go with it) and Fold the Saucy Goodness into the Pasta.
Trust me this smells and tastes Heavenly. I added a side salad (serving suggestion, feel free to add any objects of your desire – edible ones though!).
Bon a Petit