My love for pasta is never ending and my quest for eating healthier (though limited) is something I am trying a little bit harder to work on. The other day, I decided I am not making my usual white sauce or a cheese sauce based pasta and would instead try something new. My friend Scott Fletcher (totally kickass, and the bringer and maker of absolutely lip smacking-ly amazing food) gave me most of this recipe, and I partly improvised. Ladies and gents, here is my healthier version of pasta – farfalle with chicken, mushroom and broccoli (Oh! And it’s easily customizable to be a vegetarian recipe. Ignore the chicken bit. You’re welcome :D)
Did this picture get your taste buds happy? Awesome. Let’s get started.
- 200 grams Boneless Chicken – Cut into 2cm portions
- 250 grams Broccoli florets – Cut into tiny individual florets, stalks removed (don’t throw the stalks)
- 400 grams button mushrooms – Cut into halves
- 250 grams Farfalle pasta – Made as per packet instructions
For the marinade:
- 5 tablespoons barbecue sauce
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- A pinch of Italian seasoning (Or Basil, Thyme and Oregano)
For the sauce base:
- 10 medium cloves of garlic
- 150 grams Broccoli stalk – diced into tiny pieces
- 2 dried red chili peppers
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning (Or to taste)
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Salt to taste
- 150 ml Water
To blanch broccoli:
½ Liter water – boiling
Let’s start with the marinade. A good marinade means a lot of flavor:
For the marinade:
Take the barbecue, ketchup and dark soy sauces and mix well in a big bowl. Add in the Italian seasoning and pepper and stir well. Once it is mixed well, add in the chicken and let it rest for 15-30 minutes. This helps give the chicken a really good flavor.
For the sauce:
In a mixer, whiz together the broccoli, garlic, chili peppers and blitz it till it is a smooth and even paste. I generally think it dries out a little and I add in a couple of tablespoons of water. Once the paste is smooth, heat a pan and put the oil. Once the oil is hot, put the paste into the hot pan and stir continuously for 5-6 minutes till the paste is cooked.
Cooking the rest of this awesomeness:
- Once the paste is cooked, add in only the chicken (keep the marinade sauce aside for a few minutes and don’t add it right away) and cook for another 3-4 minutes
- Once the chicken starts taking on some colour, add in the remaining marinade sauce and lightly stir
- Tumble in the mushrooms at this point, but don’t add salt yet. (Trust me on this :D)
- In another pan, heat water to a boil to blanch the broccoli in, and carefully tip all the broccoli into the boiling water for 1-1.5 minutes. (Be careful!) The florets will look greener than ever. Once that’s done, strain and add the broccoli to the other pan with the sauce, chicken and mushroom
- Now, add salt and the remaining Italian seasoning. Add in 100-150 ml water, to make a great sauce base. Once that has come to the boil, add in the cooked farfalle pasta and gently stir around the pot to mix with the sauce.
- Taste, add some more salt and pepper (if needed) and that’s it.
- That’s it. You’re good to go to pasta heaven.
Serve with a glass of chilled lemonade, iced tea or white wine. Or a bottle of chilled wine.
Now, some bits and pieces. When do you make this?
- Celebrating pasta day
- Lazy brunching mode on
- Have lots of white wine, need food
- Impressing the other (better?) half
- Cooking for the family
- No cheese in my kitchen day
- Do you need a reason to make pasta day
- Taste, taste, taste and taste. Totally worth it.
- Don’t add chicken, to make a vegetarian version, add some zucchini instead
- Also works well cold
It’s easy peasy. Well, a fair bit. Oh and in case you like spaghetti a little bit more, check out our recipe for spaghetti in tomato garlic sauce. We promise you that you will love it. Thanks for all the love. Happy cooking. And eating.