I have to admit I am a bit of a pasta snob since living in Italy, I try and make traditional pasta dishes however pasta is so versatile and can be paired with so many different ingredients that sometimes I let my inner pasta snob go and use the pasta as a vehicle for flavour. I am always conscious of the fact that I should be eating more vegetables so this is a great way to get them in there and by using my fantastic food processor I can make a smooth sauce which coats the pasta really well. This would also work well as a lunchtime option just in a smaller portion and would taste good cold too. You could make this a vegetarian option too by omitting the chicken.
2 peppers (I used 1 red, 1 yellow)
15 cherry tomatoes
3 garlic cloves
Handful fresh basil leaves
150g-200g rigatoni pasta (or whatever shape you like)
2 chicken breasts
Splash lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190C. Roughly chop the peppers and place them in a casserole dish with the cherry tomatoes, garlic cloves and ripped basil leaves. Pour over the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
2. Place the vegetables in the oven and cook for about 30-40 minutes or until soft.
3. Put the chicken breasts in a flat bowl and season with lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper.
4. When your vegetables are cooked take them out of the oven and allow to cool.
5. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and then add the pasta and cook according to the instructions on the packet.
6. You could cook your chicken under the grill or in the oven; I fried mine on a griddle pan.
7. Place the vegetables in a blender and whiz up until smooth then heat in a saucepan. If you don’t have a blender, the vegetables should be soft so you could use a pestle and mortar is just chop them up; obviously you will get a different result but I’m sure it will still be tasty!
8. When the pasta is cooked combine with the sauce. Shred the chicken with a fork and mix in with the pasta and sauce.