Pasta With Chicken, Zucchini, Peas And Mint

This pasta recipe is quick and easy. Cook the pasta while you’re cooking the sauce, and dinner will be on the table in about 15 minutes. 

My kids asked for seconds and thirds so I deem this recipe a success, especially considering one of them doesn’t normally eat anything green.

Adding the ricotta at the end and stirring it through makes for a creamy sauce, without being over-creamy. We found the flavour a touch on the sweet side and I would have liked some saltiness, so next time I might add some crispy bacon or chorizo — which would also add a different texture. I’d also salt the pasta water a little more than normal.

Serves: 4

Ingredients
500g dried penne or fusilli pasta
4 medium zucchinis, ends trimmed
3 tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
500g free-range chicken thigh fillets, cut into thin strips
100g frozen peas, defrosted
150g ricotta cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper
several mint leaves, finely chopped

Method

Fill saucepan with water, season well with salt, and bring to a rapid boil. Add pasta and stir well. Cook for eight minutes without lid or until just tender. Drain into a colander and reserve about half a cup of the cooking water.

Return cooked pasta to saucepan, cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, coarsely grate zucchini in a food processor (or with a grater). Heat oil in frying pan over high heat. Add garlic and half the chicken, toss for three minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan.

Add remaining chicken and cook. Return all chicken to the pan with any juices. Stir through zucchini and peas, cover and cook for three minutes, or until the zucchini just softens.

Add chicken mixture to the pasta along with reserved cooking liquid, then add ricotta and season
with plenty of salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine.

Scatter mint over and serve immediately.

Tip: Timing is important with this recipe. While the pasta is cooking, sear the chicken and complete the recipe. You will then only need to toss it all together while the pasta is piping
hot.

Note: If the mixture curdles it would be because the ricotta was cooked. It should just be tossed with the hot ingredients.


Kitchen Therapist

This is an edited extract from Kitchen Therapist: For The Love Of Chicken by Jo Richardson published by New Holland, RRP $29.95.

Reviewed by Heidi Rozitis

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