This is one of my staple weekday meals. Everyone can cook it, its that simple, and I’d love everyone to have a go – it’s my mission to get rid of microwave meals!
You will need (for one):
- 60g Pasta (I’m using 5 minute quick cook)
- 1 Leek
- 1 Shallot
- 1 Clove of Garlic
- 1 Chicken Breast
- Half a glass of white wine (optional)
- A glug of single cream (be as saucy as you want!)
- A small handful of grated cheese
- Fresh Basil (optional but highly recommended)
You can either fry your chicken breast (quick) or put it in the oven (long and lazy). I’ll talk you through it my way.
1) Get the kettle on to speed up the boiling process later, turn your oven on to 180C.
2) Once your oven is up to temperature, put your chicken breast on a small dish and throw it in the oven. Set your timer to 13 minutes.
3) Chop your leek in slices and wash it in a colander to make sure its clean. Whilst your leek is sat in the colander draining the excess water, finely chop your garlic and shallots together.
4) Now you can relax on the sofa until your timer beeps. Get some boiling water in a pan ready for your pasta to be thrown in. (a little bit of salt in the water helps the flavour)
5) When your timer beeps, set it for a further 7 minutes and throw your shallots and garlic into a pan on a low heat with a small glug of olive oil. When the shallots look soft (approx. 1 minute) throw in your chopped leeks and turn up the heat slightly
6) After 2 minutes get your pasta into the boiling water with 5 minutes to go (assuming you’ve brought quick cook pasta) . Continue cooking the leeks until they are soft and tender (taste!) – the remaining time should be just enough. Be careful not to have the heat too high or else the leeks will burn.
6) With about 30 seconds to go throw half a glass of white wine into the leeks which should be just tender and soft. Leave to reduce on a simmer.
6) When your timer starts beeping your chicken can come out the oven and your leeks should be ready. Roughly chop up your chicken breast (make sure its not pink) and throw it in the pan with the leeks, shallots, garlic and white wine. Take your pasta off the heat and drain in a colander
7) Give the wine a minute to reduce slightly (it should physically reduce in size), then add as much cream as you feel necessary and a small handful of grated cheese. Make sure its still on a low heat as you don’t want the cream to boil, just gently heat. This should only need a minute.
8) Pour your drained pasta into the pan with the leeks and chicken and mix. Then serve with some torn up fresh basil leaves.
This dish is a really simple introduction to pasta – its quick, easy, cheap and tasty. If you’re on a tight budget, just leave out the wine!
I hope you enjoy it – please let me know via a comment below if you try it out.