Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chicken and Mushroom Spaghetti

I know pasta is not new to most of you, be it cooking at home or dining outside. Believe it or not, the number of times that I have eaten pasta can be counted with two hands.

Well, that is due to my bad experience with the pasta that used to sell at my campus canteen. My recollection is, the spaghetti tasted really horrible then and after taking a mouthful or two, I got so sick of it that I couldn't finish the dish. That probably explained why the queue for that stall was the shortest and since I was rushing for classes, I had no other choice then.

Anyway after that incident, I steered away from pasta for years. Whenever I go to Italian restaurants that serve mainly pizza and pasta, without a second thought I will always go for the pizza, despite being desperately hungry and knowing that pizza generally takes a longer time to serve. Hmm, that pretty much summarises how much I really dislike pasta.

All these changes after one holiday trip to Melbourne 2 years ago, where I got to eat delicious pasta prepared by Italian chefs for the first time. It was so yummy that I finish the dish within minutes! :D

I have some time today to make myself a simple lunch: A light and delicious chicken and mushroom spaghetti! :)

At least now I know how to differentiate the good from the bad. For those of you who don't like pasta or have not tried cooking pasta at home, this is a simple dish that you must try and I am sure that you will not be disappointed. :)

Chicken and Mushroom Spaghetti
Adapted from: Noob Cook

2 servings of tubular spaghetti / pasta of your choice (about 140 - 160 g)
100 g white button mushrooms, sliced thinly
100 g chicken fillet, cubed / sliced
10 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
20 g butter, cubed
Dried chilli flakes
Shredded parsley
Grated parmesan cheese
Coarse black pepper

1. Bring a pot of water with some salt to a boil. Cook the tubular spaghetti according to the timing indicated on the packet, until al dente. Drain and set aside the pasta, reserving a small cup of the pasta water.
2. Heat saucepan with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add mushrooms and chicken, a pinch of salt and black pepper. Stir fry or sauté until cooked. Set aside cooked mushrooms and chicken on a plate.
3. Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in the same pan; add garlic and chilli flakes. Sauté the garlic until it starts to turn light golden brown.
4. Turn off the stove. The garlic will continue cooking in the hot oil on its own for a few more seconds in the hot oil, until they turn a lovely golden brown. Melt the butter in the garlic and oil mixture.
5. Add cooked pasta, cooked mushrooms and chicken mixture, some salt and black pepper. Toss to coat all the ingredients evenly, adding some reserved pasta water to help the ingredients bind together.
6. Serve with Parmesan cheese and shredded parsley.