This blog would have you thinking I mostly just eat pasta and you wouldnt be far off the mark! But I also eat soups and salads and roasts and stir fries and curries and burgers. I just often cant be bothered sharing it as life has got so busy.
Plus, pasta and pasta bake in particular is such a good clean out your fridge meal. Im really refocusing on creating less waste at the moment. The world is a confusing and tumultuous place with different research seemingly coming out each day about the way we should eat in terms of our health and the environment. And so much of it is conflicting, especially for those two things.
But I think I can add waste less to my other life mantra eat your greens and feel better about my impact on the world. Im not a vegetarian, but I dont eat a lot of meat. I most often eat chicken or seafood and Im very careful not to waste it if I buy it. Ill often buy a whole chicken, bring it to the boil in a big pot of water with some aromatics, simmer for 25mins then leave to cool. Its perfectly cooked, and I pull it off the bone and use it to add to sandwiches, fried rice and salads or pasta dishes like this one.
I also remove the skin and freeze this separately and then finely slice it, and fry it to start a stir fry. So naughty but such flavour. Then the bones get put back in that cooking liquid and simmered for hours and hours until a rich bone broth has formed. I then use this to add to sauces, as a soup base and so on. Nothing is wasted.
This pasta dish can be made using leek, onion or spring onion, you can add the chicken or replace with mushrooms and use peas instead of broad beans. Its begging for you to use whats in your fridge and be flexible. Cooking this way is so much cheaper and so much better for the environment. I so often dont share these recipes as I feel like theyre not very polished. Or incentive. But theyre the ones that best reflect how I live, cook and eat so I need to start sharing.
This dish also involves just two pots as Ive suggested using a stove top and oven safe fry pan or casserole dish, I used my Le Creuset Risotto Pan, to make the sauce as you can then mix everything into this and put it in the oven.
1 cup broad beans (2 big handfuls of beans in their pods)
400g short pasta such as penne
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, finely sliced
1 Birdseye chilli, optional
1 tsp dried thyme
2.5 cups shredded cooked chicken
150g roughly chopped sundried tomatoes
1 Tbs chopped butter
2 Tbs flour
1 cup milk
1 cup pasta water or chicken stock
2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Black pepper and salt to season
Preheat oven to 180 degrees fan forced (200 non fan forced).
Place a large pot of salted water on the stove top and bring to a boil. Add the broad beans and cook for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Bring the water back to the boil and cook your pasta according to packet directions. When you drain, reserve 2 cups of pasta cooking water.
Pod the broadbeans to remove the outer skin, set aside.
Heat a large low, oven proof pot, casserole dish, or fry pan to medium high heat. Add the oil, leek, chilli and thyme and cook until the leek is translucent and starting to colour.
Add the butter to your pan and then stir in the flour, cook this mixture for 1-2 minutes and then add the milk and pasta water. Stir to combine and then add the chicken, broad beans, sundried tomatoes and cheese. Stir over low heat until the cheese is melted, add the pasta and extra pasta water if you need more sauce.
Transfer to the oven and cook for 20 minutes or util golden and bubbling.
Serve with parmsean and balck pepper sprinkled over the top.
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