Pasta Pomodoro with Chicken and a warm spinach salad

Pasta Pomodoro with Chicken and a warm spinach salad

Making a pasta sauce is something I’ve been able to do from a young age, so I’ve been able to adapt my ‘slow and low’ recipe to make a lean this lean version AND make it a quickie recipe for faster pasta!  No one should have to rely on a jar of sauce when something this tasty is so quick and simple to make.

Ingredients for 1 serving

277g chicken breast
80g dried pasta
25ml sweet chilli sauce
140g chopped tomatoes, blended until smooth
1/2 garlic clove, chopped or crushed
6g olive oil
50ml water
149g spinach
10g fresh basil leaves
1/4 lemon, juice only
salt and pepper

(Example ingredient amounts given, adjust accordingly to your requirements)

Method

  • Put a frying pan on a medium heat and wilt the spinach with a tablespoon of water.  Don’t wilt it to a mush, you want a little texture.
  • When wilted, put the spinach into a small bowl with half of your olive oil allowance, the lemon juice and a little salt and pepper to taste.
  • Put the frying back onto a medium heat.
  • Sprinkle a little salt onto both sides of the chicken breast and add it to the pan.
  • Pop a lid on as this will help it cook in the same time as the pasta.
  • Add boiling water to a medium sized sauce pan with a touch of salt and cook your dried pasta according to the manufacturers instructions.
  • In another small frying pan add the remaining olive oil to a medium heat and add the garlic.
  • Move the garlic around the pan to season the oil and pour in the blended chopped tomato and sweet chilli sauce.
  • Bring the sauce to a rapid boil and add half of the water and give it a stir.  You want to loosen the sauce as it needs to coat your pasta, add more water if you feel it needs it.
  • Reduce the heat so that the sauce gently simmers.
  • Check the chicken and turn it over.  When it’s firm to the touch it will be cooked through.
  • By the time the pasta is cooked, the sauce and chicken should be cooked.  The chicken will be a golden brown colour and the sauce with be rich and thick.
  • When the timer for the pasta goes off, turn everything off, add a little cold water to the pasta pan to stop it over cooking and drain it.
  • Season the sauce and add the fresh basil.
  • Add the pasta to the sauce and give everything a good stir to coat each little tube in the rich thick tomato sauce.
  • Carefully plate up the pasta and top with the chicken bread and serve with the warm spinach salad.

If you’re anything like me, I have to use a tea towel bib to cover up, pasta eating is a messy business!

Notes

  • I’ve seen people adding spinach to a colander and pouring boiling water over it to wilt it.  Spinach is a lovely green vegetable that wilts easily in a pan without any water but if the leaves are on the large side you may need to add a tablespoon or two of water to help it along.
  • In order to make a saucy sauce, you need double portion your tomato allowance, so no need to shoe horn another vegetable portion here.
  • Fresh basil really works for this recipe, so why not buy some fresh basil and freeze for when you need it.  Take it straight from the freezer and throw it in the pan.  Maximise flavour and maximise value for money too!
  • For those on 2018 BC plans, sweet chilli sauce is a swap for other side sauces provided you choose one with equivalent macros.
  • Traditionally in Italian cooking you would use the smallest pinch of sugar to take any acidity out of the tomatoes but for this recipe I am using the sweet chilli sauce to do that.
  • For this recipe, the dried pasta variety I used was Rigatoni.
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