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Sunday, 25 April 2010

Tagliatelle With Spinach & Chicken in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Tagliatelle Pasta is one of my favourite pastas to cook. I like that it is wider than fettuccine, it adds a fullness to the bite, with more ground for sauce absorption. This pasta is fabulous with tomato sauce, and also great with white sauces as well.

I find pasta dishes to be really comforting, and give me a warm feeling. I like to go for pastas on days when I am tired and looking to unwind. I also like to offer at least one pasta dish on many of the menus I go for when hosting a dinner at home. I find that most people enjoy eating pasta, and by including it they will definitely find something they like.

I have gone tomato sauce with this one, and find the flavours to mesh really well together. The green earthiness of the spinach, against the sweet-sour notes of the tomato sauce with the mildness of chicken and the hint of a bite from the pasta, all coated with Parmesan cheese and freshly cracked black peppers make it a heavenly experience. This recipe is one that my guests love, and one that I always enjoy eating. For a different presentation you can layer the pasta, spinach and tomato sauce with chicken as shown in the picture. However, this dish can also be served with the pasta, sauce and chicken all tossed together, and served in a nice big bowl.

You Need
250g dried or fresh Tagliatelle
2 cups Tomato Sauce (click the link for the recipe)
2 Chicken breast fillets, sliced into strips
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
100 g baby spinach leaves
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp dried oregano
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
dried Bird's eye chili flakes (optional)
Parmesan cheese shavings

Slice the chicken breasts, and rinse with water. Pat dry and slice into strips, then sprinkle with Balsamic Vinegar and set aside.

Cook the pasta in boiling water with the dried Oregano and crushed garlic until Al Dente.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a wide and deep saucepan, add the chicken strips and brown slightly on all sides. Add the tomato sauce stir and heat until bubbly. Cover the pan and cook until the chicken slices are cooked through. Add the dried chili flakes if using and mix.

To serve, drain the pasta and place on the serving plates, sprinkle with black pepper. Top with the fresh baby spinach leaves then with chicken and tomato Sauce. Sprinkle with black pepper and parmesan shavings.

Serve warm.

Let's chat - When designing a menu, I find these two options to be the most popular: 
1. to create and stick to a theme and think of the overall flow of the menu, where everything matches and pairs well.
2. to go for a full mix and match where there are completely different options but guarantee that each palate finds a favourite.

When hosting a dinner at home and designing your menu do you think of the whole menu as must be flowing together, or do you prefer different bits and pieces that appeal to different tastes and palates?

Let me know as I would like to know which menus I should post for you here :)