penne with chicken, chorizo & chilli

OK now don’t laugh, but I rephotographed this three times until I was happy with it – I am such a dork but I can’t help myself. I literally can not bring myself to post anything unless I genuinely like the pic, even if the recipe is great. Ah well – my little freaky perfectionist streak. Actually – I should be really grateful for it, as it is one of the reasons I went freelance about 18 months ago. I wasn’t happy to put out work that I thought could be better, and my old boss was happy with a very last-minute, seat-of-the-pants vibe (works OK for the one in charge, not quite so good for the people making things happen). Going freelance gave me the opportunity to practice non-stop, and I am only slowly now getting to a point where I feel confident that I will generally get the results I want, even if it takes a few goes. But meh – enough about me (crikey!) how’re you doing? Frazzled? Or feeling the Christmas spirit? In New Zealand Christmas can be quite a stressful time as the kids go on school holiday for the summer for 8 weeks from the second week in December, so parents are trying frantically to buy presents and get family, work, friend gatherings sorted with small people of varying sizes at their feet. My lovelies are now (dear God how can this be?) 19 and 17 years old, so no inconvenience at all, sometimes even a wee bit helpful! Anyhoo, if you’re feeling pulled in ten different directions as the big day approaches, you might want to give this recipe a whirl – great for turning left-over chicken or turkey into a delicious pasta dish. I always remember when we were young and living on the bones of our bum as the saying goes, my husband would frequently open the fridge door and say ‘There’s nothing to eat!’, I of course would scoff, have a scrounge around, and make something exactly like this 🙂 (And on the very rare occasion there actually would be nothing in the fridge…)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp red chilli flakes
1/3 cup sliced dun-dried tomatoes
3 chorizo sausages, sliced
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups cooked left-over chicken
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup reserved pasta water
1 cup grated Parmesan (divided into 2 half cups)
1/2 cup basil pesto
1/2 cup roughly torn parsley (plus 2 tbsp extra)
400g penne

Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot and add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, over a gentle/medium heat for 15 minutes until the onion is softened but not coloured. Add garlic, salt and pepper, chilli flakes, sun-dried tomatoes and chorizo and cook a further 10 minutes. Cook pasta according to packet instructions until only just al-dente, add wine, chicken and cream to onion mix and bring to a simmer. When ready to serve add pasta and reserved pasta water to sauce with half a cup of the Parmesan and parsley and stir to combine. Serve topped with a few blobs of basil pesto, a little extra Parmesan and parsley and/or basil leaves and a good grinding of black pepper. Serves 4-6


    1. Thanks so much Rebecca – I thought after I had written that, I probably shouldn't have in case people think they're crap! Phew! 🙂

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