Spicy Tomato Chicken Pasta (or Rice)

While being home sick with the flu I had a chance to get a little taste of what life would be like if I didn’t work. When I was feeling up to it I did a very thorough house cleaning which took up a very good chuck of a day. After that I realised I did not have a huge amount to do: I had a chance to catch up on knitting start on my endeavour to watch the series of the classic Law & Order Episodes which plays constantly in the background while I am completing odd jobs around the house and crafting. Isn’t it just such a fantastically timeless show! Being sick also forced me to actually watch a few episodes while I rested (for me the TV is almost always just on as background noise) and I (and The Hubby) have now memorised the iconic opening phrase.

"In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories."

Anyway I digress: whilst being home sick (but feeling well enough to cook) I was able to enjoy the pleasure of thinking about what I was going to make for dinner at about midday (rather than the night or days before), reading through recipes and checking my ingredients, laying out all my supplies, leisurely prepping my goods and taking my time to cook. I really enjoyed this freedom while cooking, as opposed to the usual rush to pump something out at 7pm each night. So I thought I would share with you a recent recipe I made which is quite tasty and great because it can be altered into a quick and tasty dinner on the nights when time is tight. It is also a great recipe to use up some extra veggies in the fridge if they are nearing their peak freshness as you can swap some of my choices to something you are trying to use up in your own fridge.

Spicy Tomato Chicken Pasta (or Rice)

Spicy Tomato Chicken Pasta

Spicy Tomato Chicken Pasta

Serves 4

ingredients

  •  1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 500g raw chicken breast, sliced (to save time you can use leftover or store-bought roast chicken – just ignore cooking step of chicken)
  • ½ – 1 pack of spaghetti depending on your preferences (the ratio of sauce:pasta depends on how you like it) – could also use rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small brown onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 small red chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 10-12 button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 green capsicum, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 x 400g tins of diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • shaved parmesan cheese and basil to taste

1. Grill the chicken breast in a frying pan with olive oil until golden brown and cooked through. Set aside for later (you can use pre-grilled or store-bought roast chicken to save time)

2. Cook the spaghetti in boiling water, following the instructions on the pasta packet. Alternatively, you could use rice

3. Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat and brown the onion until it softens

4. Add the carrot and cook until they soften a little

5. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a further minute

6. Add the mushrooms and capsicum until they soften a little

7. Add the tomato paste and diced tomatoes and simmer until the sauce thickens (you may need to add extra water if the vegetables are not quite cooked yet and the sauce is getting too thick)

8. Cut the grilled chicken into pieces and stir through the sauce along with the olives

9. Toss through the pasta (or rice) (note: when I made this I used a packet of pasta, and I thought there was not quite enough sauce, next time I will use less pasta)

10. Serve with parmesan cheese and basil

Sauce simmering away

This dinner was yummy. A bit of comfort food and great for a mid-week quick bite.

On the whole I really enjoyed being able to spend my days leisurely knitting, relaxing and cooking interesting dinners but I must say by day 3 I was starting to feel like life was missing a little purpose. While I am the type of person who will never get bored at home, given my endless housebound hobbies, even I started to feel like it was not for me to spend the day puttering around the house, even if I was continuously keeping it clean, while The Hubby was at work (although I did love the time I had to think about and prepare dinner). Until I am blessed enough to have children, I will continue to work, as I would not have enough to do in order to feel entirely fulfilled at home – perhaps in time I may be lucky enough to find my life’s true professional calling or for now I could just cut back a day of work so I have a little more time to indulge life’s little pleasures which I enjoy so much: something entertaining on the telly, a fun crafty project, some decadent chocolate cookie baking in the oven and company of The Hubby as he putters away with his own technological amusements…

Ready to Serve

Ready to Serve

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8 thoughts on “Spicy Tomato Chicken Pasta (or Rice)

  1. Sounds yummy! I hope you’re feeling better!!

    Do you have a slow cooker? It’s my lifesaver for those days when I know that I won’t have time to fix an elaborate meal.

  2. I can’t believe you cleaned the house – if you’re not well enough for work, you’re not well enough to clean! Pasta sounds delicious, very comforting and filling 🙂

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