When I first started cooking pasta, this was the recipe I used as it was the most convenient at the time. This recipe remains my go to recipe for most of my pasta meals. It is very easy and quick to put together and makes you look like a pasta god before your friends and family. It is also pocket-friendly as it makes use of a lot of vegetables which are inexpensive. In this recipe, I borrowed some techniques from Asia, some heat from West Africa and some Pasta from Italy to create a dish which is sure to please any crowd. If there is one pasta dish you should try, this is it!
(1) 250 Grams of Spaghettini (1/2 a Packet)
(2) 1 Teaspoon of Soy Sauce + 2 Teaspoons
(3) 1 Teaspoon of Vegetable Oil + Another Teaspoon
(4) 2 Chicken Thighs or I Chicken Breast
(5) 1 Bouillon Cube (Divided into 2)
(6) 1/4 Teaspoon of Fresh Thyme
(7) 1 Carrot
(8) 1 Bell Pepper
(9) 1/2 Scotch Bonnet
(10) 1 Medium Onion
(11) 2 Cloves of Garlic
(12) 1 Small Broccoli Stalk
(13) 4 Scallions
(14) Salt and Pepper to taste.
(1) Cut chicken into small strips. I used the thighs as they have more flavor than the breast, but feel free to use white meat. Place chicken in a bowl and add 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of oil, thyme, 1/2 bouillon cube, salt and pepper. Mix marinade with chicken, cover and place in fridge while you prepare the other ingredients. Tip: it is easier to cut chicken and meat when it is a bit frozen. I always keep my chicken in the freezer for about 30 minutes to an hour before cutting.
(2) Now it is time to prepare the other ingredients. Julienne the onion, carrot and bell pepper. See how to do this here. Chop the scallions and set aside.
(3) Cut the broccoli florets from stalk and blanch in boiling water for 1 minute. Take out and place in very cold water to stop the cooking process and keep the color. Drain and set aside.
(4) Crush the garlic and scotch bonnet together into a paste.
(5) Now its time to cook your pasta. You will need a wok or a large frying pan as you need a large surface area to fry the vegetables well. Heat your wok and add a teaspoon of oil. Allow oil to get very hot.
(6) Add chicken strips to hot oil and stir fry till chicken is brown. This can take between 5 and 10 minutes depending on size of chicken strips. When chicken is ready, scoop chicken out of wok leaving the oil. The chicken would have released some oil into the wok. Use this oil to fry the vegetables. If there is no oil in the pan after removing the chicken, add a teaspoon of oil and allow it to get hot.
(7) Meanwhile , place a large pot of water on fire. This will be used to boil spaghettini. The pasta should be cooked for a maximum of 4 minutes or else it will get very soft. See how to boil pasta here.
(8) Place onions in hot oil and saute for 2 minutes or till translucent. Add blanched broccoli, julienned carrot and bell pepper and garlic paste to the onion. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add chicken to vegetables along with any of its juices and continue frying for 2 more minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Remember you will still be adding soy sauce and salted pasta later, so be very careful not to over salt dish. You want vegetables to still have some crunch and retain their bright colors.
(9) By this time the pasta should be ready. Add pasta to sauce, sprinkle scallions on top and add remaining 2 teaspoons of soy sauce. Mix on fire for 1 minute. The total cooking time for the vegetables is 5 minutes.
(10) Serve spaghettini stir-fry and watch your friends ooh and aah. Enjoy!
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