So tonight I had a scour through the cupboards. I also had to take the effort factor into account. Could I be arsed really making anything complex? No not really. We've been going through our house throwing things out, packing up a few boxes and just organising the house for the move all day, so complex cooking was not on the cards.
I picked up half a bag of organic pasta, a bag of ripe organic tomatoes, and 2 massive free range chicken thighs and figured that these were the main things I needed to use today. The tomatoes weren't going to last much longer, and the chicken was a day off being dodgy, so I decided that it was chicken tomato pasta night!
|Awesome organic box of veges!|
For this sauce, it's important that you use GOOD tomatoes - don't bother making this if you have the floury, anaemic sorry excuses for tomatoes you see in the supermarket out of season. This is what you do with a glut of good quality, juicy, ripe, RED, delicious tomatoes, such as the heirloom varieties we found at the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne. These tomatoes, when you ate some from the little tasting bowl, stopped us both in our tracks. It was the best tomato I've ever had. I'm going to try and get some seeds next summer so I can try and grow some of my own - they were amazing, better than any tomatoes I've had here!
Also, make sure the handful of basil you use is a generous one, it makes a huge difference! If you can get it from someones garden then get that instead of the stuff from the supermarket, it's got SO much flavour! Its fragrance is so much stronger, it has the basil aroma that you recognise, but with a hit of aniseed. The supermarket bunches have nothing on home grown.
Chicken, tomato and basil pasta
1kg tomatoes, chopped
Small bunch of spring onions, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 chicken thighs
Handful of basil
NB - for this pasta sauce, you really don't need the chicken, but I wanted to use it up. It does add extra flavour, but the tomato sauce is special on its own as well!
1) In a hot pan with oil (I use Cobram Estate Garlic Oil), fry the chicken thighs (whole) in the pan. Once they're almost done (time depends on the size of the thighs) turn the heat off and let them sit in the pan until you need them.
2) While the chicken is cooking, add the onions and garlic to a saucepan with some oil and gently fry them for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes.
3) Keep the heat med-high and you'll see the tomatoes start to break down and become much saucier. Turn the heat down to a low simmer, and cook until it becomes thicker and less watery, stirring occasionally.
4) The chicken has cooked and rested by now, and so chop it up into pieces and return to the pan.
5) Add the sauce to the pan the chicken is in and give it a stir, making sure all the chicken juices are incorporated into the sauce! Season to taste.
6) Wash up the tomato saucepan and cook your pasta in it! Add plenty of salt to your cooking water to make sure your pasta is seasoned - it makes a big difference! In the time it takes for your pasta to cook (mine took 10mins) your chicken tomato sauce will reduced, hot and ready for the pasta.
7) Add in a generous handful of chopped basil, then pour in your drained pasta. Don't drain it too heavily, some of the starchy pasta water can go into the sauce to bring it all together.
8) Give it a good stir and serve it up!
I served mine with a buttery homemade garlic bread which was heart attack inducing but amaaaazing!