But its not my fault really, since if one of your sisters says she wants to have pasta for lunch, what can you do but make pasta for lunch, right? However, one of my sisters was determined to cook the meal for herself, so this is all her effort, hehe. I just chose the recipe. ;) Anyway, here we go!
What you need:
4 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
450g skinless, boneless chicken breasts, diced
1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
450g small broccoli florets - we probably used only about half this amount, I think
300g dried farfalle - i.e. bow-tied pasta
175g bottled roasted red peppers, drained and diced (see below)
250mL chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
Note: I couldn't find bottled roasted peppers here in Brunei, so I just grilled 2 red peppers for about 15-20 minutes, then peeled off the skins and left it to cool before dicing it. Probably not very similar, but hey... close enough. Also... that is a LOT of oil/butter used. We probably used about half the amount.
What you do:
- Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Cook the garlic until just beginning to colour.
- Add the diced chicken, raise the heat to medium and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink. Add the chilli flakes and season to taste with salt and plenty of pepper. Remove from heat.
- Plunge the broccoli into the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes until tender crisp. Remove with a perfortaed spoon and set aside. Bring the water back to the boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until just tender but still firm to the bite. Drain and add to the chicken mixture in the pan.
- Add the broccoli and roasted red peppers. Pour in the stock. Simmer briskly over a medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Serve immediately.
Talk about exotic. I'm usually a bit iffy on pasta dishes that don't have tomato in it, so was wondering how well this dish will work. The chicken stock reassured me, somewhat, but still... it was a bit troubling.
Well, I needn't have worried myself, this dish is just fabulous! All the flavours of the olive oil, butter, chicken, broccoli and peppers combined to make this really really tasty sauce. Really. Babah was a huge fan. ;) And not only that, this is somewhat healthy as well. I mean, I don't particularly like broccoli, but really liked the red peppers. On the other hand, the rest of my family who all like broccoli loves the broccoli with the pasta.
I mean, okay... the picture may not look all that good... it is a bit messy, I admit, but the dish itself was gorgeous. The yellowish pasta, with chunks of red and green looked absolutely beautiful. When looking at it though, youd think, "Oh, that pasta looks quite bland...", but you'd be wrong! The chicken stock-based sauce is really good. Of course, I used commercial chicken stock, but if you used home-made chicken stock, I bet this would taste even better. Just make sure that you've simmered off most of the liquid. You don't want this to be a soup. The sauce sort of has to ... cling around the pasta, adding a coat of flavour.
I can't say whether the home-roasted peppers were similar to bottled roasted peppers, since I have never tasted those, but I must say I quite liked them. My problem with peppers, usually, is the texture. I find it a bit too crunchy for my liking. I also find the taste slightly weird, though bearable. However, with the roasting, the peppers became more tender and so much more flavoursome. I do think its worth spending the extra time roasting it. :)
In light of its extreme tastiness, as well as all those veggies inside there (it has to be somewhat healthy, right?), I am giving this the recommended label again. Two dishes in a row ... not bad. ;)
Quote of the day: Do you know the difference between broccoli and nose-pickings? You have to tell your children to eat broccoli.