I have a confession to make – I find recipe books intimidating. I will look at recipe books in bookstores, often purchase them, making a commitment (at the time) to try all of the recipes and then, naturally, never seem to get around to trying them.
Recently I collected all of my recipe books and sold them, keeping a few staples on the shelf that I actually have used more than once (Donna Hay, that would be you). Instead, I have been relying on recipes that come up on my Pinterest feed, or basics that I see in the newspaper or that friends have shared online. I figure that if a friend has already used it – and liked it – then it's worth trying.
In the Body and Soul section of yesterday's Sunday Mail, I came across this recipe for Chicken and Vegetable Pasta Bake by Lisa Guy.
“That looks achievable,” I thought.
The picture you see above is the end result and I modified it a little by doubling the vegetable content and adding chicken stock and parmesan cheese for more “kick”.
Chicken and Vegetable Pasta Bake
- 3 cups wholemeal penne pasta (dry quantity)
- 500g chicken mince
- 1 onion, diced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 carrots (depending on vegetable quantity you like), diced
- 1-2 zucchini, diced
- 1-2 cups green beans, topped and tailed, sliced
- 1/2 cup grated low fat cheese, plus 1-2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- 1/2 chicken stock cube or liquid stock mixed in half cup water
- 50 g lean ham, diced
Cook pasta, drain, set aside. Then using a touch olive oil, saute chicken and garlic until browned, set aside. Then saute onions, carrots until softening, then add zucchini, beans, water and chicken stock and cook until softening. Return chicken and garlic to onion mixture and add ham and cook a further 5 minutes. Then mix with the pasta and place into casserole dishes. Sprinkle with cheeses. Bake in oven (about 170 degrees fan forced) until cheese melts and becomes golden. Serve with steamed vegetables or green salad.