Last week I was struck down with gastro, aka a food lovers nightmare. I won’t go into details but I couldn’t look at, or smell, let alone eat much food for a few days there. Needless to say, I am a bit behind on the blog now, luckily I still have some recipes like this creamy chicken and pumpkin pasta that I made and photographed before Christmas.
This recipe is based off a Weight Watcher’s recipe that I stumbled across years ago and mum and I have been making versions of it ever since. If you compare the original recipe to mine, you can pretty quickly work out that mine would no longer be considered Weight Watchers friendly, but let’s be honest, I was never going for that anyway :)
The creaminess all comes from a can of evaporated milk instead of cream and while there may be some health benefits there, the main reason that I love this recipe is that it’s so easy to keep a can of evaporated milk in your pantry.
I used full cream evaporated milk because I’m really not into counting calories. In the wise words of Maggie Beer “fat is flavour.” Low fat evaporated milk works just as well though. For this amount of pasta, you will need about half a can.
I used chicken tenderloins as they are easier to source than chicken thighs in Singapore. Chicken thighs would be great though, or you could use breast if you really want to, but you have to be more careful with cooking it so that it doesn’t dry out. You can also sub out the eschalot for a small red or brown onion.
Start the pan cooking process while the veggies are still roasting to cut down on the overall cooking time.
Mixing the cornflour into a small portion of the evaporated milk will ensure it all dissolves. If like me, you more often have potato starch in your kitchen (it’s more common in Singapore) you can substitute ½ tbs + 1tsp of potato starch for every ½ tbs of cornflour in this recipe.
Roasted pumpkin and tomatoes. Already it’s looking good.
The final addition of green olives add a nice saltiness and means you can cut down on the added salt in the seasoning. Definitely garnish with some grated Parmesan and freshly cracked black pepper though for a delicious, warming pasta meal.
Creamy Chicken and Pumpkin Pasta – Adapted from a Weight Watchers Recipe
Ingredients – Serves 2-3
- 120g of pumpkin, peeled and chopped into bite sized chunks
- ½ tsp of olive oil plus extra for frying
- ½ cup of whole cherry tomatoes
- 160g of chicken tenderloins, chopped into large chunks. You will need about 4 tenderloins
- 200g of bavette pasta
- 1 eschalot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 cup of evaporated milk
- ½ tbs of cornflour
- 5 large green olives, pitted and quartered lengthways
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Toss the pumpkin in ½ tsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes then add the tomatoes to the tray and roast altogether for a further 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place a big pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.
- When the pumpkin has been on for 10 minutes, heat a frying pan over medium heat and in a splash of olive oil cook the chicken until it is lightly browned all over. Once cooked, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Once the water has boiled, place the pasta onto cook as per the packet instructions.
- Once the chicken has been set aside, add the eschalot and garlic to the pan and cook until just soft.
- Add the cornflour to a small amount of the evaporated milk and stir it well to combine. Stir in the rest of the evaporated milk and then add it all to the onions in the pan along with the chicken.
- Cook, stirring, for around 3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
- Add the roast vegetables and olives to the pan and then drain the pasta and add that as well. Toss around to combine and heat everything through. Season with salt and pepper.
- To serve, garnish with the Parmesan. Leftovers heat up ok, but best eaten as soon as made.