Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My Pasta Bake - a good family friend meal to deal with some ingredients.

Good Tuesday everyone:-) I'm just about to travel to Portugal but I must share with you an easy recipe that helped me dealing with some ingredients that were almost "lost" in the fridge and pantry.

As it is my habit on the blog this is another family recipe, simple, economic and versatile (as you can play as you like with ingredients).

In this case:

Ingredients (5 portions)

- 300g wholegrain penne
- 2 cups of sliced mushrooms
- 2 cups of Broccoli
- 1 Large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of crushed garlic, keep the skin
- 2 medium chicken breasts cut into cubes
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 to 2 cups of grated cheese of your choice (mozzarella, Cheddar,etc)
- sesame seeds to taste
- olives to taste
- salt and black pepper
- thyme to taste
- olive oil to taste


Preheat the oven at 180ºC.

Cook the pasta in boiling water (some salt in) until al dente.

Use the same water and blanch the broccoli for about 3 minutes.

The tomato sauce should be done before and stored in the fridge or can also be purchased but watch out for the labeling (avoid the ones with too much salt and preservatives).

If you want to make your own tomato sauce,check the recipe at the bottom of this post and that will take at least 30 minutes.

While the pasta and broccoli are cooking you can chop the onion, crush the garlic and in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil sauté the onion in first for about 3 minutes, on medium heat. Then add the two cloves of garlic, climbs up the heat and follow up with the sliced mushrooms, season with a little salt, pepper and some fresh or dried thyme. Stir-frying for about 3 minutes. Put this mixture aside.

Use the same pan, add a little more of olive oil and cook the chicken (cut into cubes of 1 cm), add some more thyme, salt, pepper and saute for about 4 minutes.

After all is cooked (pasta, broccoli, mushrooms and chicken) get a bowl and add all these ingredients, toss them well, add the tomato sauce, olives, sesame seeds and put in a oven tray.

Finish with some cheese.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes and its all ready to be devoured.

Tomato Sauce

In a pan add a little olive oil, let it heat up, put in a very finely chopped onion, 3 crushed garlic cloves with skin (remove before blending it), and saute until onions are translucent, add 3 tins of peeled tomatoes, 1tbsp of brown sugar, stir well, lower the heat, add some basil leaves (1/2 cup) and cook until you get a creamier consistency.

Season with salt and black pepper, remove the garlic cloves and use a food processor to blend it.

Can be stored in the cold for 1 week.

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