I am happy tonight 🙂 It has been a productive first day of the week; lots of work done and lots of laughs had. As I head home, my belly rumbles. I need something yummy and I need it pronto. On nights like this, when there is little time to spare, a pasta dish is hard to beat. A pinch of this, a handful of that and comes together a meal that is wholesome, delicious and incredibly satisfying. And speaking of delicious and satisfying, our dinner tonight is chicken and green bean pasta in creamy brie sauce. I threw in a few button mushrooms as well. As versatile as it is, this recipe works brilliantly with any vegetable or/and protein one might have on hand. A great recipe for ridding the fridge of the odd little bits of vegetables lying about, this one is a great addition to every repertoire.
Great for two!
Hardly any; prep: 5 mins and cook time: 20-25 mins
2 boneless chicken thighs
1 tsp of olive oil (you will need about 2 tsps if you are using skinless chicken)
150 grams of Penne (all kinds of tube or string pasta work beautifully)
1 cup of green beans, roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
3-5 chestnut or button mushrooms, chopped in quarters (optional)
20 grams (about 1 tbsp) of brie; any kind of creamy cheese is welcome
1 tbsp of double cream; feel free to use 1 tbsp of milk or single cream instead if you prefer
salt and pepper to taste
Place a wide pan on medium high heat and as it starts to heat up, add a tsp of oil.
Dice the chicken thighs into 1 square inch pieces and marinate with a pinch of salt.
Once the oil is hot enough (place a piece of chicken in the pan and if you hear a sizzle, it is hot enough), place the pieces of chicken skin side down without crowding the pan.
Also, do not move or stir the chicken; you want a lovely golden sear on the skin. Let it go for 3 mins.
By now the chicken should have a lovely sear; reduce the temperature to medium and after another 3 mins, turn the chicken and let it cook in the other side for about 5 more mins.
In the mean time, get a pot of water ready to cook your pasta, once it starts boiling, add a generous pinch of salt (1 tbsp approx) and cook your pasta as per packet instructions. Drain cooked pasta (do not rinse) and remember to reserve about 1/4 cup of the starchy water in a separate bowl.
Add the brie and the double cream/ single cream/milk to the warm starchy water and whisk a little to make the cheese melt and come together into a sauce.
Now remove the chicken from the pan and drain the excess fat keeping about a tsp in the pan. If you are using skinless chicken, you will need to add about a tsp of oil to the pan.
Add the finely chopped garlic to the hot pan and let it cook at medium/high for about 10 seconds. Keep an eye on it; garlic burns rather quickly.
Add the green beans, mushrooms, the chicken and a pinch of salt and saute about 5 mins.
Add the pasta to the pan and saute all of it for another 2-3 mins.
Pour in the sauce, sprinkle all the pepper you like (I also love lots of chilli flakes) and stir to combine well.
Feel free to add some herbs at this stage; parsley and chives work beautifully.
Let the sauce thicken for a min or two and you are done!
Now serve and enjoy 🙂