This is a meal that is made up of left-overs. This is also a simple and super-quick meal to make.
I had half a chicken breast sitting in the fridge. It was bugging me. I knew I should use it to cook dinner so that it would no longer sit in the fridge to bug me. So with that in mind, I rummaged through the fridge and pantry to see what I could wrestle up.
I found a carrot, half a jar of sun-dried tomatoes and 2 rashes of bacon. I also found half a jar of store-bought pasta sauce. That meant a pasta dish. And it meant loads of cheese!
In a pan, I browned the sliced bacon. When the bacon had been browned, it was removed from the pan and set aside.
I sauteed the onion using the bacon fat for about 2 minutes, or until the onion had softened. Then I added the diced chicken and cook a further 3-4 minutes until the chicken was slightly brown.
I added the shredded carrot and cooked that for a minute to soften them, then in went the thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes and the bacon.
I added the pasta sauce, chicken stock and a little water.
I also added a bay leaf, salt and black pepper. I gave everything a quick stir, covered the pan, and simmered the sauce for about 20 minutes over low heat.
I added some milk to the sauce, gave it a stir, and cooked the rigiatoni in salted boiling water.
The cooked rigiatoni and some Parmesan cheese were added to the sauce and stirred through.
The pasta was transferred into heat-proof serving dishes, and I sprinkled more Parmesan, as well as cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. These were baked in a hot oven so the cheese would melt.
Simple, and good. Can't ask for more than that!
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Baked Rigiatoni with Chicken, Sun-dried tomato and Three Cheeses (Serves 2)
1/2 chicken breast, cubed
2 rashes bacon, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 carrot, shredded
3-4 slices sun-dried tomato, thinly sliced
1 - 2 cups pasta sauce (store-bought)
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup water
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
300g rigiatoni (or any pasta)
1. Brown bacon in pan. Remove bacon, set aside.
2. In bacon fat, saute onion until they turn soft and translucent. Add garlic, saute for 30 seconds then add chicken. Cook until chicken turns white.
3. Add carrots and sun-dried tomato, stir to mix.
4. Add pasta sauce, chicken stock and water, followed by bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
5. Cook pasta according to manufacturer's instructions. Drain and add to pasta sauce. Mix. If sauce is too dry, add a little pasta water.
6. Dish into serving dishes, top with cheeses and bake for about 10-15 minutes at 200C, until tops turn golden brown.
7. Serve immediately.