Chicken, Chipotle & Chorizo Pasta Bake

Pasta bakes aren’t sexy. They’re suburban soccer mum food. They’re cheap, convenient, pretty easy and filling (bit like me).  I’ve not really been a pasta bake person, but that’s probably something to do with the fact I didn’t grow up in a pasta bake eating family.  I did make Pasticcio for this blog, some time ago now, which is creamy and meaty and delicious and definitely not cheap, convenient or easy, but I suppose is technically a bake of the pasta kind.

Anyway, I’ve made a couple now, and this is the refined version, much tastier than the original shitty one I came up with, which you have happily been spared.  My version below delivers a healthy 6 portions. Well budget.  WELL RECESSION.

(I am still coughing, in case you wondered.  Coughing like a consumptive on their final day at an ineffective Swiss resort.  I can only assume my diaphragm and intercostal muscles are incredibly fit by now with all the heaving and hawing.  Very sexy).

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K.  Get:-

1 packet of pasta – whatever you like.  Used small penne this time which is fine, although rigatoni would be a personal choice

Bout half a piquant chorizo

3-4 chicken breasts

1 bottle of passata, think it comes in litre bottles

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

I also added some old-ish pomodorinos that I had lying about, going soft, so added a good handful of those, chopped.

Heaped teaspoon of smoked chipotle paste (or whatever substitute you fancy, or nothing I guess if a bit of burn isn’t your thing. Wuss).

Seasoning

Some spring onions, chopped, for when it’s done.

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Stick the oven on at about 170C, and some water in a saucepan, salted (NEVER OILED DO NOT EVER OIL YOUR PASTA WATER JESUS HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU?), to boil.

Stick the pasta in to cook.

Slice your chorizo in your preferred way.  For pasta bake I have decided I like thin rounds.  Gently fry the chorizo but don’t let them get all crispy and burnt, like I did a bit, this time.

Chop your chicken into chunky bits, delivering the off-cuts to the dog (in her bowl, we’re still on the re-training regime), and add to the frypan.  Once they’ve started to brown, add your chopped or minced garlic and the chipotle paste.  Don’t be put off by the fact that 1 teaspoon of chipotle paste seems very little for a whole packet of pasta.  It’ll be plenty.  Last time I put in two and my head blew off.  Took 3 days to grow back.

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When you estimate the chicken is about a third cooked, add the passata and tomatoes, and season.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 mins or so, just to rich up the whole thing.  If you want more tomatoey tang, add a big blob of tomato paste.

Your pasta should’ve been cooked by now – I stop the pasta just short of proper al dente, and that way it doesn’t descend into total sog once the thing has been oven-baked.  Drain and mix through the sauce.

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Chuck the whole thing into a big baking dish.  Fear not if it seems a bit wet and moist, you want it that way.  Wet and moist like a dog’s nose after an exciting time spent sniffing other dog’s butts.

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This time I grated over a mixture of parmesan and cheddar.  Sometimes I mix parmesan and breadcrumbs.  It’s up to you.

Put it in the oven for about 20-30 mins, till it starts to get crispy on top and smell good.

I dropped the foil at this point.  It unravelled.  Below is my attempt at re-ravelling.   Foil doesn’t like being re-ravelled.

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Look – cooked pasta bake!

Call in your mythical children from their soccer games or whatever it is you have at home.  I have a boyfriend, so I called him in from the lounge room.

Serve with salad, ideally.  I like some spring onions, chopped, sprinkled over the top.

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3 thoughts on “Chicken, Chipotle & Chorizo Pasta Bake

  1. narf77 says:

    Holy CRAP I won’t ever oil my pasta water again! I have indeed been told! (Now sitting up at attention at 4.36am MAAM where I was previously slouched in some sort of beanbag shape) How am I going to get Nige our butcher to sell me half of one of his quality chorizo? An interesting new test for pasta “doneness”… not sure I want to follow Earl around and “test” his nose though…he is most particular about being followed and I fear my pasta may have gone over to the dark side by the time I was able to follow through with the test…I can’t show you my attempt at rerolling foil. It is somewhat tighter than your example…in fact it is a tight foil ball…rolled by angry fists! I have it as a reminder that tight rolled tantrum inducing foil is not fun to try to unroll and that perhaps I should leave my temper at the kitchen door…Spring onions ARE salad when you are sick and to most bachelors…you WIN. 🙂

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