I had a really busy day today. I am in charge of the sharing time at church this Sunday morning. (A fun activity for the children's Sunday School) I had two age groups to prepare for, so it takes a bit of extra time adapting it both for older and younger children. You want them all to have fun.
It was getting rather close to tea time and I still needed to prepare us something to eat.
In the old days that would not have been much of a problem as I had a family that readily ate pasta in any way shape or form, and . . . as we all know . . . pasta with some sort of sauce is a quick, tasty, easy and economical way to go!
I have a husband who hates pasta now though . . . it's foreign food, and he is a man with very solid, old fashioned British tastes . . . read meat and potatoes here.
Occasionally I do try to whiz it past him . . . he only very rarely enjoys it, but . . . sometimes I do get lucky.
Today was not one of those times. I ended up opening him a tin of soup after I watched him suffering through it for about 15 minutes . . . trying to pick the vegetables and chicken out from between the pasta bits . . . sigh . . .
I, on the other hand, enjoyed every scrummy mouthful, and . . . I think all you pasta lovers out there will too.
So there! (Crusty bread to mop up all that delicious sauce is a given!!)
*Pasta with Chicken, Pancetta and Summer Vegetables*
This is one of those quick and easy dishes where you can throw in just whatever vegetables you have to hand. I had courgettes, beans, leeks and tomatoes. You may have something else. Chard is very nice, as is asparagus and peas.
12 ounces Pasta, cooked until al dente
3 ounces chopped pancetta
2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 whole leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced thin
a large handful of garden fresh beans (I used a mixture of green and yellow)
1 medium courgette, washed, sliced in half and then into half moons
4 medium ripe tomatoes, quartered
4 ounces of finely grated parmesan cheese
4 ounces dry white wine (1/2 cup)
4 ounces double cream (1/2 cup)
a small handful of fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Shaved Parmesan Cheese to serve
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain well, (reserve a mugfull of the pasta cooking water) rinse, drain again and then set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally until most of the fat has been rendered and the pancetta has started to brown. Toss in the chicken and leeks. Continue to cook, stirring, until the chicken is cooked through and the leeks have softened. Add the beans and courgettes. Cook and stir for several minutes. Add the tomatoes and the wine, allowing it to bubble up. Allow to bubble until the wine reduces by half. Stir in the cream and the cheese. Cook and stir to melt. Season to taste with some salt and pepper and stir in the basil leaves. Serve immediately with some Parmesan Shavings scattered over top. Delicious!