Tuesday, 20 Jan 09
Sometimes, the best things in life are the simplest. Whether it’s a bowl of chicken soup to warm the heart and stave off a sore throat, or a delectably light pasta packed with flavour, these two dishes are good for you, mind, soul and body.
Chicken Pasta Soup
I was feeling a little down after a pool training session, and had been nursing a sore throat all morning, and wanted to avoid the spiciness of the tacos my sister was suggesting for lunch. It was quick and easy to prepare, with the dicing of vegetables being the hardest part, really, especially with my lack of knife skills.
Tuna Fettuccine with garlic, basil and tomatoes
This was very much a spur of the moment, what do I have in the cupboard and fridge, dish, but I suppose I must have gleaned some inspiration from Donna Hay’s No Time To Cook or Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food somewhere along the way, which I’ve recently bought for Tim. Garlic, basil and tomato boost the flavours of this summer-y dish (don’t I sound like an Iron Chef commentator?)
[Serves 2 hungry teenage girls after pool training]
1 cup macaroni, or other small pasta
2 small potatoes
Homemade chicken stock, about 3-4 cups
Salt, Pepper to season
Leg ham, or other meat (shredded chicken breast would be best)
Cook the pasta according the package instructions. Drain, and return to pot with a little reserved water.
Set premade chicken stock onto medium heat to boil. Dice carrot and potatoes into 1cm cubes. Drop into boiling stock and lower heat to cook through.
Dice meat. If uncooked, add to the pot to cook alongside vegetables. Skim any residues (how to describe…?) or scum (sounds so unappealing) from the surface, and discard, for a clearer soup. Add sugar and salt in a ratio of 2:1, to taste, about 1 tsp:1/2 tsp (if chicken stock has not been seasoned). When vegetables are soft and cooked, add pasta and heat through. Serve, topped with ham and pepper to taste.
Tuna Fettuccine with tomato, garlic and basil
1 clove minced garlic
1 tbsp chopped basil
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/8 tsp dried chilli
1 tomato, diced
125g canned tuna slices in olive oil
Salt and pepper, to season
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, reserving about half a cup of water. Return to pot with reserved water.
Using about 1/2 tbsp olive oil from the tuna, fry garlic and dried herbs until garlic is lightly browned and fragrant. Add tomatoes, basil and tuna, and stir fry until tomatoes soften. Add a further 1 tsp of the olive oil from the tin, and season with salt and pepper.
Toss pasta through sauce until heated through. Serve, with extra chilli flakes if desired.
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