Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The 21st Century Housewife's© Balsamic Chicken and Bacon Pasta

Chicken and bacon are a classic combination, but the addition of a balsamic vinegar spiked sauce makes this pasta dish really special. This is one of those recipes that tastes so good, no one can believe how easy it is to make. It really does not take a long time either, but it is important to take your time sautéing the onion as this really helps the flavour to develop. Onions are one of those things that get better the longer you cook them, provided you keep them over a very low heat so they do not burn or catch.

The quantities below serve 2 very generously - in fact I am pretty sure they would stretch to 3 if you use the 7 ounces of pasta. It’s easily doubled though if there are more of you.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
½ cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
6 ounces chicken stock (from a cube is fine)
2 generous tablespoons half fat crème fraîche or low fat sour cream
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon pepper
about ¼ cup chopped pancetta or bacon
6 to 7 ounces whole wheat pasta (depending on how hungry you are)
1 large cooked chicken breast, thinly sliced

Heat the oil in a medium frying pan over low heat. Sauté the onion gently for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and continue to fry over low heat for five to ten more minutes.

Meanwhile, fry the bacon or pancetta in a small pan over medium heat and start to cook the pasta according to package directions.

Now, add the stock and balsamic vinegar to the onions and mushrooms and turn the heat up to high. Let it bubble away madly, reducing the stock, for a couple of minutes.

Turn down the heat and add the crème fraiche or low fat sour cream and the pepper. Drain the pancetta or bacon, add to the sauce mixture and stir through. Add the chicken and fold in very gently. Turn the heat down to low and heat through.

Drain the pasta and return to the pan. Fold the sauce in gently. Serve in warmed bowls accompanied by lots of hot, crusty bread.