My Chilli and Mascarpone Chicken Pasta..

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This is one of my favourite  dishes for batch-cooking and freezing; it has saved my bacon on numerous occasions when unexpected guests dropped by, or when I was having an ‘I can’t/won’t cook’ day.

My advice is to make a huge pot of it, and freeze it in portions – you’ll thank me later!

There’s a fairly simple list of ingredients, many of which are store-cupboard staples. It’s also perfect if you have, say, only two chicken breasts, but many more mouths to feed. The chicken is finely shredded, and so goes an unbelievably long way.

Here we go:

 

INGREDIENTS:

for 4-6 people, generously.

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  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced and then shredded into fine pieces.
  • 2 onions, very finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, ditto
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped, seeds discarded
  • Large splash of red wine
  • Tin of tomatoes and/or fresh plum tomatoes if you have them
  • Jar of passata
  • Dried Italian herbs
  • Fresh basil (if you have it) finely sliced
  • A drizzle of Olive oil
  • Heaped teaspoon of sun-dried tomato puree
  • S+P
  • about 2 tablespoons of Mascarpone cheese
  • Pasta (I like spaghetti with this).
  • Some more shredded basil ( for decoration) and some freshly grated parmesan to serve.

METHOD:

  • Heat the oil, then add the onions, chilli and red wine and allow to soften slightly (about 5-10 minutes)
  • Add the chicken, herbs, garlic, tinned tomatoes, puree and passata.
  • Stir well to combine everything and to make sure that the chicken pieces have separated out.
  • Add S+P to taste.
  • Then let it sit on a gentle heat for as long as you like.
  • NB: Do NOT add the Mascarpone if you intend to freeze this sauce.

If you’re serving this on the day you make it, decant enough to feed your lucky diners and leave the rest to simmer gently.

P1160832(1)Add the Mascarpone to the decanted sauce, and mix in. Reduce the heat to very low after this.

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You can see the difference in colour when you add the mascarpone

When the pasta has cooked, return to its cooking pot, then simply empty the now-creamy sauce onto the pasta and stir in gently.

Serve it up on heated pasta plates and garnish with the basil. I usually serve some freshly grated Parmesan and garlicy flatbread with it too.

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Ready-made garlic flatbread

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Freshly grated Parmesan and basil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTES:

  • Freezing: Freeze the sauce without adding the Mascarpone. Defrost it thoroughly, heat it through and add the mascarpone just before serving.
  • Mascarpone generally comes with a fairly long date so I usually have some hanging about, but if you find you haven’t got any handy, a dollop of cream does almost as well. If you haven’t either, just serve it naked – it will still taste fine, just not as creamy.
  • My sister discovered that any leftovers can be chilled and reheated for lunch the next day. – Handy!

 

About

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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