Usually when I travel I like to pick up cooking magazines that have interesting recipes in them. It can present somewhat of a challenge if they are in a foreign language, but I am always up for a challenge. The last time I went to Canada (which was about five years ago now) I picked up a special edition magazine at the grocery store, the Taste of Home Italian Cookbook. I thought it was filled with lots of taste temptingly delicious looking recipes.
In our process towards downsizing and clutter clearing I spied this magazing in the spare room cupboard. I spent some time going through it, as you would if you were trying to decided to keep something or not. I just happened to have pretty much everything I needed to make this delicious looking recipe, and the things I didn’t have I thought I could substitute with what I did have, and so today I decided to make it for us.
It was quick and easy to do and in all truth I didn’t want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen as I have tons of other things I need to be getting on with!
The resident pasta hater even had two helpings. I think because I used a really good artisanal orecchiette pasta, it wasn’t really that pasta-ee for him, if you know what I mean. Orecchiette is Italian for little ears . . . it was a good egg pasta and more like a dumpling than a noodle. The shape cupped just the right way to hold that delicious sauce . . .
With lots of meaty chunks of chicken, nice crispy tender vegetables and oodles of colour and texture, not to mention those tasty meatballs, it went down a real for both of us. It did make rather a lot, but I have an idea that the leftovers will be just as delicious if not more so. I’ll probably heat them up in a casserole in the oven, covered with lashings of cheese. Mmmm . . . sounds rather good if I don’t say so myself.
8 ounces orecchiette pasta (2 cups)
(can use an equal amount of any small pasta shells)
1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breast meat, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
2 TBS olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 stalk of celery, washed, trimmed and chopped
a package of frozen cooked Italian meatballs, thawed (12 ounces)
1 tin of cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 tin of milk
1 chicken stock pot
1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 2 tsp chopped fresh)
about 6 cubes of frozen whole leaf spinach, thawed, squeezed dry and chopped
salt and black pepper to taste
135g of grated Parmesan cheese (3/4 cup)
Heat half of the olive oil in a large skillet with a lid. Add the chicken cubes and brown them all over. Scoop out and keep warm. Add the remaining oil to the pan along with the chopped vegetables. Cook, stirring until tender. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Return the chicken to the pan along with the meatballs, the soup, milk, stock pot, thyme and some seasoning. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover tightly. Cook for about 6 to 8 minutes.
While the sauce is cooking add the pasta to the water and cook according to the package directions. Drain well, reserving some of the water. Remove the cover from the sauce and taste. Adjust seasoning as necessary with salt and pepper. Stir in the drained pasta and just enough of the pasta water to give you a nice consistency. You don’t want it too thick but you don’t want it thin either. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.
Debunking the myths of English Cookery, one recipe at a time.
The English Kitchen
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