I mostly go for slow roast and casserole dishes in the autumn and winter, ones that need only minimal preparation and will cook in the background over a period of hours whilst I get on with something else. Yesterday, though, I was preparing and cooking steak and kidney ready for the pie I want to make today and it suddenly dawned on me that I had done nothing about a meal for that night. After a quick look in the fridge and freezer, and with some helpful microwave defrosting, I came up with this (quantities are to serve 2 people):
- 1 skinless and boneless chicken breast, chopped into roughly 1cm cubes
- 150g Pork Chorizo Style Chipolatas (I get these from Tesco. I expect other brands are available!), chopped into roughly 1cm pieces
- 1 tub (375g) ready-made Arrabiata Sauce (again, mine was from Tesco)
- 150g dried Conchiglie pasta (these shell shapes are great for picking up the pieces of meat, but use whatever you have)
- A little Olive Oil, for frying
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the chopped chicken and chipolatas. Cook, stirring now and then, until done. Meanwhile, boil a kettle ready for cooking the pasta.
Pour the hot water into a saucepan and bring back to the boil before tipping the pasta into it.
Add the arrabiata sauce to the chicken and chipolatas in the frying pan and let it gently warm through.
When the pasta is cooked to your taste drain it then tip it into the frying pan and mix it into the meat and sauce. Serve straight away.
That’s a very tasty pasta dish ready in 20 minutes. If you don’t mind extending the cooking time by however long it takes to heat up your oven, it’s really good with some tear-and-share bread too.