I love easy, quick to make, healthy meal recipes. How about you? Pasta is quick to cook, versatile, economical and tasty, ticking all of these boxes. With so many varieties of pasta, there’s also an endless number of different sauce possibilities to suit any diet. I cannot imagine my kitchen without it! My culinary creativity would be far less fun and frankly, boring! So, thank you Italy, you may have invaded Britain, however it’s time to let things go, as you have given us pasta. More specifically the fusilli bronze die pasta used in this Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta.
So, next time you think of tossing a jar of pesto into pasta for dinner, think again. As this dish only takes 30 minutes to make, barely more than the time it takes to cook pasta. Not only do you get a balanced healthy meal, it is filling, like all proper meals should be. Tender, bite sized pieces of succulent chicken breast, fresh baby spinach wilted into the tomato and cream cheese sauce that wraps itself around the fusilli pasta.
If you are cutting down on carbs you may wish to skip this paragraph. Which is, to serve this tasty bowl of goodness with a chunk of baguette, or any of my homemade focaccia bread recipes. While this dish not swimming in sauce, there is always some pooled on your plate or bowl. And this is where the bread is important. To dunk with! Using the bread to absorb every last drop of the luscious, creamy sauce. Also, keeping with the low fat theme, why not leave the bread unbuttered. As well as reducing calories, the bread is more absorbent without butter.
Eating should be an enjoyable experience. Indeed it should be a feast. It should feed more than our tummies, it should feed our soul. Giving thanks before eating is a custom here at home. Yet stopping for a moment to look and smell the food in front of you is also important. Too much food is literally shoved down throats while watching television. I wonder too if the taste and texture, even has time to register with the brain. Eating with family and friends, sitting at a table, not only slows down the rate at which we eat, it can also regulate how much we eat. Resulting in an altogether, more pleasurable experience. My opinion is that all food tastes better when it is shared.
In addition, if you live on your own and cook for yourself, as I did for many years, being mindful while eating is still beneficial. Taking time to really enjoy the experience of eating, really is one of life’s simplest pleasures.
Time to make this delicious dish.
Recipe: Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta serves 4-6 people
500g Diced Chicken Breast skin off and cut into bite size pieces – I use Graig Farm
1tbsp Olive Oil – I use Filippo Berio
1 Large Leek – washed and cut into small dice
2 x 400g Chopped Tin Tomatoes plus 1 tin of pasta cooking water. Alternatively use the same weight of chopped, fresh tomatoes and approximately 400mls of pasta cooking water.
200g Washed Baby Spinach – use frozen if out of season
1tbsp Fresh Thyme finely chopped – plus additional Thyme for garnishing the finished dish
140g Philadelphia Cream Cheese – use the full fat version
1tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon
Good Grinding of Fresh Black Pepper to taste
450g Fusilli Pasta – bronze die pasta has rougher edges and so absorbs more sauce
Method: Making the Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta
- First of all, place a heavy bottomed pan on to the hob over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and allow to heat.
- At the same time place a large pan of water on a high heat, ready to cook the pasta. When the water is boiling add a teaspoon of sea salt and then the pasta and cook for 8 minutes.
- Into the other pan add the chopped chicken breast and cook until lightly browned.
- Remove the cooked chicken to a plate and then add the chopped leek to the pan.
- Saute the leek until it is softened and then add the cooked chicken back to the pan.
- Immediately add the 2 tins of chopped tomatoes and use a wooden spatula to scrape the base of the pan clean. Follow by adding the chopped fresh thyme.
- Now tip the baby spinach into the pan. Don’t worry if it is piled high it will wilt down.
- Remove a can full/2-3 ladles (approximately 400ml) of hot pasta water and pour on to the spinach. Take extra care as it will be hot.
- Drain the pasta and tip on to the spinach. Allow the spinach to wilt down, it will release it’s water and make the sauce thinner.
- Next add the cream cheese to the pan and stir so that it melts into the sauce.
- Most importantly, taste the sauce. Add a good grinding of fresh black pepper to taste. Additional salt shouldn’t be needed, but do check and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
- Sprinkle over fresh Thyme and the dish is ready to be served.
Time to eat
Serve this delicious Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta in bowls.
Not only is this recipe perfect for making ahead, it’s also easy to transport. Which makes it an easy dish to gift to a new family, friend who is unwell, or anyone who really needs a break from cooking. Resulting in a great meal that is as perfect to share outside the home, as well as with family and friends around the dinner table.
To freeze leftovers, cool completely and then spoon the cold pasta into freezer bags, or freezer proof containers, removing as much air as possible. Label, including the date and freeze for up to 3 months. Remove from the freezer, place on a plate or bowl and defrost in the fridge overnight. Reheat until piping hot, serve as previously suggested and enjoy!
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Pasta is one of the most important ingredients in my kitchen. A go-to staple when I need to whip up something super tasty, super quick. Another bonus it that after cooking and cooling, it can usually be frozen, such as this Creamy Tomato Spinach Chicken Pasta, Chicken Four Cheese Lasagne and Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Bake all can be. Serving with bread and salad enables this dish to feed more people, ideal when last minute dinner guests appear (a necessity when a house full of teenagers and their friends lose track of time!). Although cooking pasta from scratch takes barely more than 10 minutes and even though there are countless ready made sauces to available to buy, homemade pasta dishes can be just as quick and easy. And here at home, easy meals are a busy household’s must.
So, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.
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