Beat the January blues with this deliciously, comforting pasta bake - a great weekend treat as part of your nutritious, healthy start to 2014.
I love the combination of peas and pesto, it works really well and is a perfect way to incorporate vegetables for those who don't like to eat them on their own, and to make a naughty pasta bake a bit more healthy! You can use chicken breasts for this but I prefer chicken thighs as they are so moist and tender.
- 200-250g pasta (I used bows and penne)
- 2 chicken thighs, chopped
- 4 rashers of bacon, chopped
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 160g frozen peas
- 1/2 jar of basil pesto
- 150ml double cream
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.
2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
3. Meanwhile, in some olive oil, fry the chicken thighs until browned, then add the bacon and cook for a few minute before you add the onion. Cook until the onions are softened.
4. When the pasta is five minutes from being done, add the peas to the same pan of boiling water and cook with the pasta. When ready, drain and set aside.
5. Add the pesto and cream to the chicken and bacon mixture and stir until combined. Then add the pasta and peas, a grating of parmesan, and mix together well.
6. Transfer to an oven proof dish then grate some cheddar and a generous amount of parmesan on top.
7. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, removing the foil if you prefer it crispy on top.