Blondini and I had the most fabulous weekend in France avec les parents. Such delicious food was eaten (organic roast chicken - it really tasted different - and daurade royale, and amazing peaches and other fruit.. and a fantastic peach tart) and lovely wine was drunk and there was swimming and sunbathing and general chilledness. The only bad element was that as soon as we touched down in London on Sunday a cold sprang up out of nowhere. So I went to work on Monday all tragic and sniffling and was told I could leave early, which meant 9:30pm. I felt even worse yesterday so didn't go in, and spent a lovely day in bed with hot drinks, watching films. But since I was home, and since you're supposed to feed a cold (I have been using that excuse since Monday to eat absolutely everything I want - noodles, brownies, jelly tots, etc) I decided to make something easy but tasty and filling for dinner. I therefore present....
Chicken Puttanesca with Basil Pappardelle
1 large chicken breast, cut into pieces (or however much chicken you think you need for two)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large red chilli, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of capers, rinsed
1 tablespoon of sliced olives
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil (a large handful of leaves will make this amount)
Salt and pepper
250g fresh pasta (or I think it would be 160g dried pasta) - for this dish my preferred pasta is basil pappardelle
Cut the chicken into pieces, season, and fry in a small amount of olive oil until brown on both sides. Remove from the pan.
Heat a little olive oil in the pan and add the crushed garlic and finely chopped chilli. Fry for a few minutes, and then add the chopped tomatoes. When it is bubbling, add a little water together with the capers, olives and basil. Stir and taste for seasoning. Then add the chicken to the pan and cover the pieces with the sauce. Cook, covered, for about 20 minutes. If the sauce seems too thin (it should be quite thick), then take the lid off and reduce for a few minutes, stirring often to avoid the mixture burning on the bottom of the pan.
When you are ready, cook the pasta (if fresh, it will need only 2-3 minutes but dried pasta will need around 10 minutes). Serve the pasta with the puttanesca on the side or on top, as you wish!
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