I love pasta dishes, but often only cook it for me and Toddler “Blip” as the husband is still doing his low carb diet. If I do cook it for the husband I would give him Courgette Pasta instead of the normal pasta.
The first time I cooked this I cooked it for 4 people and I wasn’t left with any leftovers. However, this time when I cooked it I didn’t half my portion and still cooked it for 4 people instead of just me and toddler “Blip”. As you can imagine, I was left with lots of leftovers, which I turned into a lovely pie the next day.
Luckily, I did realise when I was half way through and cooked pasta just for me and Blip. I think sleep deprivation does get to me these days, I seems to be doing some weird things occasionally. But then this is, apparently, rather normal when you got a baby and a toddler, or so I’m told.
I like this pasta dish because of the lemony creamy taste, created by the lemon and crème fraiche. You can use any kind of pasta you like, I always keep my eye out for offers on different shaped pasta, because I like to change them. But you could use basic penne or fusillo pasta.
I know that it would seems logical to mix the pasta and the chicken/leek mixture together in one pot and then serve and if you know its all going to be eaten this is brilliant. But as we rarely will eat it all I keep them separately, also, Toddler “Blip” is much more likely to eat them if served separately
Unfortunately, Toddler “Blip” has not been too well lately with his asthma, so he only ate the plain pasta. However, the following day he ate some of it the mixture in the pie. I don’t like to put too much pressure on him to eat, especially when he isn’t feeling well. I remember being a small kid and how awful it was when people tried to push me to eat more, I was extremely underweight though and picky!
I try to always encourage him to at least try the food I have made, which seems to make him much more willing to try new things.
Lemony Chicken and Leek Pasta
Takes around 35 minutes
400g Rigatoni, or pasta shapes of your choice (4 people)
2 Onions, sliced
2 Leeks, sliced
2 Courgettes, chopped
4 Garlic cloves, Chopped
Thyme, 20 sprigs (or 2 tsp dried)
2 Chicken breasts
200 ml Chicken Stock
100 ml Crème Fraiche
1 tsp vegetable oil
½ – 1 Lemon depending on taste
Zest of one Lemon
Grana Padano, Grated (for serving)
Start by chopping up and prepare all your vegetables and get them ready for the cook.
Start by thinly slicing the onions and put in a bowl. Then clean and slice the leeks into fine slices and cut the courgettes into 1 cm strips and add to the bowl and set aside.
Grate the garlic cloves and have it ready. Also Pick the thyme leaves and set aside for later in the cook.
Place a large saucepan of water on the stove, and add salt to the water to cook the pasta, place a lid on the pan and leave on medium heat. Don’t add the pasta until the water is proper boiling.
Whilst the pasta is cooking, start making the pasta sauce by cutting the chicken into 2 cm pieces. Take a large frying pan and heat 1 tbsp of oil on high heat, then add the chicken and cook for about 6 minutes or until brown all over. Then remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Turn the heat to a medium heat on the frying pan and add the onions, leeks and courgettes to the pan you cooked the chicken in. Cook the vegetables until they begin to soften, then add the garlic and cook for another minute.
Then return the chicken to your pan with the vegetables, and add 200 ml of chicken stock to the pan, stir it and bring it to the boil. When boiling reduce the heat to low, add a lid and let it simmer for around 5 minutes with the lid then remove the lid and let it simmer for another 5 minutes or until reduced to half (and the chicken is cooked through).
Now, cook the pasta by adding it to your boiling water and cook as per the instructions on the packet or until al dente. Then reserve a cup of the water and drain the pasta.
When the chicken is done, spoon in the crème fraiche and warm it through. Now, add the thyme, lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. You can add a bit of the reserved cooking water if it has become too thick.
Serve on top of the pasta and with the grated parmesan on top.
Bon Appetite – As my grandad would have said
These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per November 2017)
Chicken breasts £1.89
Chicken Stock 5p
Crème Fraiche 28p
Vegetable oil 1p
Grana Padano 60p