when i was a student i regularly ate platefuls of pasta with a fresh tomato sauce (growing up in africa means i have always cooked from scratch and never used jars for things like pasta sauce) and it is still a dish i turn to regularly, sometimes adding anchovies or smoked pancetta to add extra flavour.
when we had a bowl of roast chicken leftovers in the fridge i decided to revisit it and was pleasantly surprised at how nice it can be with the addition of a handful of chicken. i think the key is having a really intensely tomato-flavoured sauce so that the dish packs a punch with very mouthful. i achieved this by using a mix of tinned and fresh vine tomatoes plus a selection of fresh herbs from the garden. this is a great way to make chicken leftovers stretch a bit further than they might otherwise.
chicken amatriciana (serves 2)
pasta for two
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
a pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
150g vine tomatoes, chopped
½ a teaspoon of sugar
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
½ teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
a couple of handfuls of cooked chicken meat
1 tablespoon basil leaves, shredded
salt & pepper
cook your pasta.
heat the oil and add the garlic and chilli. when you start to smell the garlic cooking add the tomatoes and stir in the sugar, bay leaf, oregano, thyme and balsamic vinegar. simmer until the sauce thickens. remove the bay leaf and add the remaining ingredients, seasoning to taste. serve with the cooked pasta.