This recipe is a lovely one as its the first pasta dish and moreover the first one pot meal recipe I’m sharing on my page. Unlike most classic pasta recipes like the basic red sauce/ white sauce ones, pesto, etc., this dish is sure to be appreciated for its unique flavour from the sun-dried tomatoes and its light no-cheese base.
How I developed this recipe-
I love sun-dried tomatoes. I usually have it I’m subs and focaccia bread. I was wanting to try it in pastas as classic italian red sauce pastas like the bolognese, arrabiata .. uses canned/ fresh diced tomatoes and tomato paste for its tangy taste and texture. But the substitution of sun-dried tomatoes have this dish it’s very distant and added tangy sweet taste and color.
Another peculiar thing is the use of white sauce in this pasta for the base instead of adding cream or cheese into this pasta. I did so because, I wanted this pasta to be light and more towards a tangy yet lightly texture.
What’s special about this recipe-
. Sun-dried tomatoes- Unique flavour-subtle sweetness, light smokiness, tangy – this substitutes the canned tomatoes in usual recipes without comprising with the nutritional goodness of the fresh tomatoes.
. No-Cheese/cream base- This is a light pasta recipe and thus I wanted the base to be low fat and low calorie.
. Lean protein- I have used chicken breast and grilled them in small chunks to reduce the calorie intake and keep it lean without excluding most of our favourite chicken in the dish.
What you’ll need-
. 1 cup penne
. 1 chicken breast (~300g), cut into small bite sized cubes
. 5 pieces sun-tomatoes, finely chopped
. Olive oil
. 1.5 tablespoons butter
. 2 tablespoons flour
. Half cup milk
. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
. Half teaspoon pepper powder
. 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
. Half tablespoon minced garlic
. Half teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
. One by fourth teaspoon coriander powder
. Half teaspoon oregano
. 2 tablespoons spring onion bulb
. 2-3 tablespoons chopped spring onion greens
. Salt to taste
How to make-
. Boil water in a deep bottom sauce pan with a few pinches of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil. Put the pasta into it and cover cooked for 5-10 minutes, till Al-dente (there should not be any thick white circle of uncooked traces when you bite into the penne).
Drain and keep put the pasta into a bowl of ice cold water. And keep the starchy pasta water aside for the base.
. Marínate the chicken chunks with pepper, half of chilli flakes, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste and salt for 10-20 minutes.
. To make the white sauce: heat the butter in a small sauce pan till melted and add the flour. Sauté it until starting to turn brown (but still off-white/white) and add milk little by little at this point stirring continuously.
Turn of the heat and stir it without forming lumps until the sauce is thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add a pinch of salt.
. In another bigger sauce pan, heat some olive oil and grill the chicken chunks until browned on all sides. Keep it aside transferred into a bowl.
. Sauté the spring onion bulbs and garlic in the same pan. Sprinkle rest of the chilli flake and oregano. Add-in the sun-dried tomatoes and sauté again till the onions and garlic starts turning golden.
. Now add the pasta, half cup of pasta water and the white sauce to combine.
. Cooked covered for a minute and cook open for another adding the grilled chicken chunks .
. Serve hot sprinkled with chopped spring onion greens.
. You can use any type of your favourite pasta- fusilli, spaghetti, gnocchi, fettuccine, penne, etc.
. Strain the white sauce to double check for lumps.
. You can add more pepper or chillies flakes to make it more hot according to your preference.
. If you can’t go without cheese in this dish, sprinkle some grated Parmesan over the pasta before serving and as Parmesan is salty enough, you may have to reduce the salt input in this recipe.