Chicken Cacciatore

I saw a photo of this dish on an instagrammers page last week and I’ve fancied making it ever since. I’ve found numerous recipes and combined lots of ideas to create this dish. It was really delicious- crispy chicken and a lovely rich red wine sauce. I’ll definitely make it again- a hit with the whole family.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

8 chicken thighs (skin on)

Plain flour

Seasoning

3 tbsp olive oil

2 red onions chopped

1 red pepper chopped

2 cloves of garlic crushed

1 glass red wine

200ml chicken stock

3 sprigs fresh thyme

10 black olives

400g chopped tomatoes

METHOD

1) Preheat oven to 180oC (fan)

2) Put the salt and pepper on a plate with the plain flour. Toss the chicken thighs in this mix to coat them.

3) Fry the chicken thighs in the olive oil until golden (a few minutes each side).

4) Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

5) Fry the onion and peppers until soft. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute. Season.

6) Keep the heat high and add the red wine. Boil for 2 minutes. Then add the stock. Boil for a further minute.

7) Add the tomatoes, olives and thyme.

8) Place the chicken on top and move to the oven. Do not cover and cook for 30 minutes.

9) Serve with spaghetti tossed in olive oil and black pepper.

Cacio e Pepe

My favourite pasta recipe is Cacio e Pepe. It’s so simple to make but the flavours are out of this world- lemony, peppery, cheesy, smokey… soooo good! I’ve saved this recipe to my highlights 🙌

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

400g dried spaghetti

250g diced pancetta

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves of crushed garlic

1 pinch of chilli flakes

Ground pepper

Juice of 2 lemons

70g rocket (arugula)

30g grated Parmesan

METHOD

1. Cook the spaghetti in boiling water for 11 minutes.

2. Fry the pancetta in the olive oil for 6-7 minutes until it starts to brown.

3. Add the garlic, chilli and pepper and fry for a further minute.

4. Turn the heat down and add the lemon juice.

5. Drain the spaghetti (reserving some of the water) and toss into the fried pancetta mixture.

6. Add the grated cheese and a little of the pasta water and stir.

7. Finally add the rocket and toss into the spaghetti until wilted.

Hidden veg sauce and meatballs

Last night we had turkey meatballs and hidden veg sauce. I haven’t made a hidden veg pasta sauce in years as my children are older and I don’t believe there’s any need to hide the vegetables now (although my 10 year old still pushes courgette round her plate!). However, it’s a great way of getting vegetables into younger children and also it suits people who don’t particularly like the texture of certain foods.

The @morrisons turkey meatballs are a healthy alternative to beef especially if you cook them in the oven rather than frying them. They’re also really convenient if you don’t want to make your own.

INGREDIENTS

Turkey meatballs

1 tbsp olive oil

1 red pepper, chopped

1 red onion, chopped

1/2 courgette, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

Seasoning

1 and half 400g tins chopped tomatoes

Spaghetti

Fresh basil

Parmesan

METHOD

1) Bake the meatballs in an ovenproof dish (no oil) at 180oC for 20 minutes.

2) While they’re cooking, fry the vegetables in the olive oil.

3) After 10 minutes, add 1 crushed clove of garlic and cook for a further minute.

4) Season, then add the tomatoes and heat through.

5) Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly. Then blend in a nutribullet or use a hand blender.

6) Pour back into the pan, add the cooked meatballs and heat through.

7) Serve with spaghetti, fresh basil and grated Parmesan.