I'm becoming the "Queen of Hate Food Waste" just recently, with all the food I'm managing to use up. I think it makes me just slightly more inventive when I cook based on need rather than on want.
I'll try to explain....
I occasionally buy ingredients to cook for a specific recipe that either I have come up with, or I've found whilst trawling through various cook books or across the interwebz. It's really satisfying to cook from a recipe, but I often have half a jar of this or half a tub of that left over when I'm done - because I mostly use fresh ingredients when cooking. I then get left with an ingredient or three that has a shelf life.... like spinach, creme fraiche, harissa paste, cream cheese (never, ever do I have chocolate anything left over... ever) - to name but a few. If you're a repeat reader you already know about the spinach and the creme fraiche - if you're not a repeat reader - go do your homework... links have been supplied!
This Creamy Chicken and Tomato Pasta Bake made use of some cooked left over chicken and the remnants of a tub of Philadelphia, and I honestly don't think I'd have come up with it if Melanie Jean on my facebook page hadn't made a request for a chicken and tomato pasta dish with no basil and only a little garlic. I was just gonna bung the chicken in a sandwich for Neil and eat some cream cheese on crumpets until both were gone. Not overly inventive, eh?
This was one of those meals that you could cut the time in half by simply not baking it in the oven, just dish it out straight from the pot if you're in a hurry and grate some cheese over the top. I baked mine because I had the time.
It was nommy.... and there were left overs....
... Be still my beating heart ;-)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Creamy Chicken and Tomato Pasta Bake Recipe
Serves 2 - 3
Prep time - 10 minutes
Cooking time - 25 - 30 minutes
Total time - 35 - 40 minutes.
You will need
A frying pan/skillet
Pot for pasta
Medium sized baking dish
4.5oz/120g dried fusilli pasta (or your own choice)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion - chopped
1 clove garlic - crushed
5 chestnut mushrooms - chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
14oz/400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree/paste
7oz/200g cooked chicken, chopped
3oz/80g cooked peas
3oz/80g cooked sweetcorn
3oz/80g low fat cream cheese (I used Philadelphia Light)
salt and pepper
2oz/60g grated cheddar
- Cook pasta according to packet instructions.
- Preheat oven to 350f/180c/160cfan/gas 4
- While pasta is cooking - heat the oil in the pan over a medium heat.
- Fry onions for 2 minutes.
- Add garlic, mushrooms and herbs and cook for another minute.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, cooked chicken, peas and sweetcorn and gently heat for about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the cream cheese.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Once pasta has cooked - drain it and stir into the chicken and tomato pan.
- Pour the pasta and sauce into the baking dish and scatter with the cheddar cheese.
- Bake in the pre heated oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese on the top is melted and golden.
- Serve with a green salad.
ONE YEAR AGO: Spicy Chicken, Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup