Chicken Tomato Pasta

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I wanted an excuse to cut up some of our home grown tomatoes into tiny pieces. They smell so good and sweet! So pasta sauce seemed like the obvious choice for tonight’s menu.

Ingredients
1 tbs olive oil
1 brown onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 chicken breasts, diced
400g tomatoes, diced
2 chillies, sliced
2 tbs tomato paste
1 teaspoon Italian herbs
1 handful basil, torn
500g fettuccine pasta

Method
Boil water in large pot and cook pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, fry onion and garlic in olive oil. Add chicken and fry until browned. Add tomatoes, chillies, tomato paste and Italian herbs. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add basil. Drain pasta and divide between plates. Spoon over sauce. Top with parmesan. Serve with salad and crusty bread.

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Side note: the chillies are from my friends, Steve and Elise. They’ve got a bit of spice to them too – good work guys!

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My new favourite dinner

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This dinner has all the foods I love best all rolled into one! Basil, garlic, tomato, chilli, olives (something I have forced myself eat over and over until I like it and now I love it), and, of course, puff pastry! What could it be? Tomato pie! Recipe is here.

In the post with the recipe I said one pie serves two but it’s so yummy, you’ll want a whole one to yourself. Serve with lots of salad (also with tomato) and beetroot. Yep, it’s tomato season! 🙂

Spinach To Bulk Up My… Pasta Sauce

I’ve been feeling nauseous lately for no particular reason (not pregnant, don’t worry Adam!) and finally felt a twinge of hunger tonight. Not the “I better force down some Vita Brits or vegemite on toast or I’ll faint” hunger that I’ve been feeling, but a “hey, I actually feel like some real food” kind of hunger! In my excitement I rushed to the supermarket to get my go-to “getting over my nausea feeling” food, Latina Fresh Veal Tortellini.

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I thought I better try to hide some vegies in there to make it a slightly more healthy meal (I know, I’m hiding vegies in my own food), so I grabbed some not-so baby spinach and basil from the garden and chopped up some button mushrooms. This also helps bulk up the sauce of this ridiculously expensive packet meal and make it go a bit further.

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The tag on this spinach said baby spinach when I bought it, but I guess it’s only baby spinach if you pick it when it’s a baby, not when it’s the size of your hand like this stuff is. It grows faster than I can eat it! Each leaf seems to double in size every day. Still tastes nice when it’s big though.

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Who knows, maybe my big homegrown spinach which grows like it’s on steroids will bulk up my muscles as well as my pasta sauce :).

Oh Basil, How I Love Thee

I can never get enough basil. It’s the best herb in the world! I always have some growing on my window sill, in easy reach. My basil is threatening to flower so I thought it time for a super basil-y dinner to use a bunch before it’s too late (there’s rarely enough left to make basil pesto once it’s flowered because of my basil frenzy’s).

So, I present to you: Basil and cashew fritters with tomato and basil salsa garnished with (you guessed it) basil!

I got this recipe from Good Chef Bad Chef which happened to be on TV while I was on my afternoon break at work. Mine didn’t work out quite as perfectly as Zoe’s so I had to tweak the recipe. I’ll show you my version.

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Ingredients For Fritters
1 cup cashews, ground in a food processor
1 cup plain flour (approx – add as necessary to thicken)
1 onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup basil, torn
2 tbs soy sauce
2 eggs, whisked

Ingredients For Salsa
1 tomato, diced
1 glove garlic, crushed
1 tbs tomato paste (in hind sight this could be left out to make it lighter)
1 tbs soy sauce
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
basil, torn

To Make Fritters
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Spray a little olive oil in a fry pan over medium heat (I used a grill fry pan to get those grill makes). Spoon fritters into fry pan and cook for about 5 minutes on each side.

To Make Salsa
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Serve on or next to fritters. Tear some extra basil on top. Optional: can heat salsa up on stove or microwave first. Given it was a hot day today, we had it cold (as they also did on Good Chef Bad Chef). Also, original recipe actually used feta or goats cheese in salsa, not parmesan. I only used parmesan because I didn’t have any feta, but I’m sure feta is probably nicer :).

Serve with steamed asparagus, and more basil where-ever possible 😉