During the gluten-free month of May earlier this year I created a new favourite recipe.
As a lover of pasta and its simplicity; this is an area of cooking that I most enjoy. However... there is pasta and there is pasta. I do not buy traditional packet pasta. The quality of the product; like most foods in a packet; is not terribly high nor is the nutritional value. For me it is important to get "bang for my buck" in the sense that what I feed my body ticks 2 boxes - it must be yummy and offer nourishment.
Making pasta from scratch is my #1 preference when I feel like enjoying a bowl at home and is one of those foods that feels great to make. Do you know what should be in pasta?
Unbleached high-quality flour (I use '00' flour which you can find almost anywhere now) and free-range eggs.
In Sydney; and no doubt all over; there are wonderful Italian delis where you can buy this type of pasta made and ready to cook should you not want to make it yourself.
Though, if you wish to enjoy a lower-calorie, lower-carb and gluten-free option, try this recipe instead....
It is so yummy, simple (like actual pasta), nutritious AND the "pasta" actually holds its' shape during cooking. Better still the only ingredients in the pasta are mung beans and water.
I would love to hear from you if you try this one at home...
- 1 x packet Explore Asian Organic Mung Bean Fettucine (see below for where to find)
- 2 x medium size free-range chicken breasts
- Half a handful of raw pine nuts
- Good dollop of my homemade pesto
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- Small knob of good quality full-fat unsalted butter (I use Lurpak)
- Freshly chopped herbs to serve - basil and parsley would work a treat!
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese to serve (optional)
- Bring a medium-sized saucepan of water to the boil (roughly 8 cups)
- Once boiling, add the mung bean fettucine
- Cook for 6-8 minutes (we do not want a mushy texture)
- Drain, rinse and set aside
- Whilst pasta is on, heat a frypan over medium-high heat with no oil
- Once the frypan is heated, place pine nuts in pan
- Dry-fry for a few minutes, turning and WATCH them as they will easily burn and put aside
- Heat a grill pan/frypan over medium-high heat with a splash of olive oil
- Prepare chicken breasts by butterflying or halving (this helps keep them moist by cooking for less time)
- Season with sea salt & cracked black pepper
- Place chicken in the pan, turning only once you can see the underside has cooked - it will be white
- Turn and repeat on the other side - I love the grill marks from the pan on my chicken
- Once cooked through, remove from the heat and slice (if you notice any that are not quite cooked, pop them back in the pan)
- Heat a large frypan over medium heat
- Add the butter and swirl the pan so it is mostly covered
- Add the crushed garlic and either move the pan around or stir with a wooden spoon
- Add the cooked pasta and stir
- Add the pesto and stir once again
- Remove from the heat
- Pour contents into a large mixing bowl
- Add the chicken and mix thoroughly
- Serve in bowls with the parmesan and fresh herbs
The Mung Bean pasta can be found at many IGA supermarkets and here.