One thing that I love about Italian food is its simplicity.
Very basic and limited ingredients are thrown together with an artistic finesse with a result that is so yummy, that it makes you wonder how they do it. I do find that at home we are in the habit of throwing a million herbs and spices into the pan in the hope it will enhance the dishes flavour. The Italians however, are so far from removed from this method. My love of easy, simple but nutritious food led me to create this Italian inspired pasta dish using Philadelphia soft cheese.
I made this as simple as possible and it only took less than 20 minutes to cook including preparation and cooking time – the perfect weekday family meal.
A quick and easy Italian inspired pasta dish for a simple week day meal.
- 1 onion
- 1 grated garlic cloves
- 1 chilli (optional)
- 2 chicken breasts (cut into bite size pieces)
- 1 courgette
- 1 red pepper
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- Handful of basil leaves
- 2 tbsps Philadelphia sweet chilli soft cheese
- 2 1/2 cups pasta (I used organic and gluten free pasta)
Prepare and dice the vegetables and put the pasta on to boil.
Dice the onion and add to a pan on a medium heat and cook to soften. Add in the grated garlic and chilli and coat the onions before adding the chopped chicken breasts.
Next add the diced courgettes and peppers and the tomato halves to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and reserve some of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the pan and stir in 2 large tablespoons of sweet chilli Philadelphia. Also add in some of the pasta cooking water to create the sauce.
Serve piping hot and scatter over the basil leaves.
There is nothing fancy about this dish, no unusual ingredients, just basic and simple food that generally everyone will have in at home. If you’re vegetarian, obviously the chicken is out, but this pasta dish would be just as perfect without any chicken or perhaps try some cannellini beans as a replacement.
I easily adapted this recipe so that it was gluten-free by using organic gluten-free pasta that can be found in the specialty aisles of most supermarkets. The Philadelphia in this dish with the addition of the pasta cooking water makes a wonderful creamy sauce which is reminiscent of a carbonara, but a healthier version.
So there you have it a quick and easy budget-friendly meal that will have you wanting to hop on a plane to Italy pronto.
Do you use Philadelphia cheese in your cooking? What is your favourite easy weekday meal?
*ingredients provided by Philadelphia