I messed up on the food shopping this week. So excited was I about the kids finally returning to school after the longest summer on record (well, that's what it felt like), I completely forgot to call in supplies.
But it was nothing that a few staples and a little imagination wasn't able to able to rectify and I came up with this delicious Chicken and Tomato Pasta Bake. The kids wolfed it down (which, on reflection, may well have been down to the fact they were starving).
Serves 3-4 hungry kids
2 big handfuls of fusili pasta (or whatever dried pasta you have in your cupboard)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes
1-2 tsp dried Italian herbs or oregano
1 tsp salt (optional)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
100ml double cream
1 pack supermarket sliced chicken breasts (the kind you buy to make sandwiches)
A few chunks of forgotten Cheddar cheese (or any other cheese)
1. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water until al dente, approx. 8 mins Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the oil.
2. Gently cook the garlic, then add the tomatoes, herbs, salt, sugar, pepper and chilli (if using). Bring to the boil and cook for 8-10 mins until the tomatoes break down. Reduce to a simmer and add the double cream.
3. Chop the chicken slices into strips and add to the tomato sauce. Add the cooked pasta and stir through until it is thoroughly coated with the sauce. Transfer to a deep baking dish and scatter over the chunks of cheese. This can all be done in advance until half an hour before teatime.
4. When the kids are begging to be fed, preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4 and bake the pasta for 15-20 mins until piping hot and the cheese has melted.