Lunch, dinner or pot luck
- 500g dry pasta- any shape
- 1 x 400g tin tomatoes
- 50ml olive oil
- 1 onion-chopped
- 2 cloves garlic- peeled and sliced
- 60g bacon- can be pancetta, streaky, back or shoulder
- 2 sticks fresh thyme
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 250ml water
- 1tsp brown sugar
- 1tsp white vinegar
- 350g cooked chicken- off bone
- 100g spinach
- 6tsp grated parmesan
- 30ml extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to season
Step by Step Instructions
This dish has a tomato based sauce that is cooked out fully before other ingredients are added (chicken and spinach).
In a medium to large pot over a high flame/heat, add olive oil, onions and garlic- cook for 2mins.
Add thyme, bacon (whole, no need to chop) salt and pepper, stir through and cook for 2mins on high heat.
Add tomato puree to the pot and cook for 1min. Add tinned tomatoes, water, sugar and vinegar. Bring to a simmer, season lightly, cover with a lid and cook for 30mins.
Once the tomato sauce is cooked, remove the bacon and chop into pieces, and blend the sauce to a puree. Season to taste and add the chopped bacon back into the sauce.
Cook the spinach in boiling salted water for 10secs. Refresh into cold water, squeeze out excess water and chop roughly with a knife. Add to tomato sauce.
Place a large pot of salted water onto boil.
The chicken used can be breast, thigh, drumstick or from a whole chicken. Break or chop the cooked chicken into pieces and add to the sauce.
Once the water has boiled, add pasta and cook till very ‘al dente’. Stir the pasta every so often as it’s cooking to prevent it sticking and for even cooking.
Heat the sauce as the pasta is cooking.
Drain the cooked pasta and place back into the large pot. Add all the hot sauce and cook for 2-3mins over a high heat stirring frequently. This process is critical to a good pasta, you have to finish cooking the pasta in the sauce like Italians would do.
Once the sauce has reduced and the pasta coated in sauce, remove from the heat and add extra virgin olive oil.
Let the pasta stand for 1-2mins before serving.
Season to taste and add parmesan.
I serve my pasta with cracked pepper, more parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over the finished dish.
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