Moist, spice rubbed chicken, fresh pasta and a silky, creamy sauce spiked with sundried tomatoes. This is by far our favourite pasta dish.
And yes, I even managed to incorporate BBQ into a pasta recipe. I just can’t help myself! Ok so it’s not a traditional Alfredo sauce, I’ve added various ingredients that aren’t typical given that a true Alfredo sauce involves only butter, parmesan cheese and a little pasta cooking water to create an emulsion. But a fabulous pasta dish non the less.
I cooked the chicken on the rotisserie attachment for my kettle BBQ, but it’s not necessary. I just love BBQ and leftovers, and this gives me both. As always I’ll give you the alternative method without the need for a BBQ.
Fresh pasta is so good in this dish. I’m including instructions of how to make it yourself, however dried or shop bought fresh pasta, can be easily substituted.
You can make this recipe as quick or as involved as you like. Using dried or shop bought fresh pasta and chicken breasts sees the whole meal ready in less that 30 minutes.
Adapted from and inspired by Guy Fieri’s recipe Cajun Chicken Alfredo
For the fresh pasta …
Makes approximately 600g of dough. This recipe only calls for 200g, but I like to freeze the remainder in batches of 100g and it cooks well from frozen.
300g ’00’ pasta flour
9 free range egg yolks (freeze the whites for meringues and pavlova)
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp cold water
Pasta machine or rolling pin
For the Spanish style rub…
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp garlic granules
1 tsp cayenne
2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tbsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp onion granules
And for the rest…
1 whole chicken (if you want leftovers) or 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Spanish style rub (see above)
1 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsp Marsala
4 tbsp crème fraîche
1o sun dried tomatoes, chopped
200g fresh or dried pasta, I like to use tagliatelle
4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Handfull of fresh chopped parsley
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
If you’re making the pasta from scratch, place the flour, eggs and olive oil into the bowl of a food processor and blitz until you have a bread crumb consistency. With the processor running, pour in the water slowly until the dough comes together. Tip it all out onto your work surface, bring together and kneed for a good 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and pliable. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Once rested, remove from the fridge and divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Take one of the pieces and cover the remaining with cling to stop them drying out.
Flatten out the piece of dough roughly in your hand and feed it through the pasta machine on the thickest setting. Fold in half and feed through again. Now begin to reduce the thickness setting on the pasta machine until the sheet of pasta is just a couple of millimetres thick. Alternatively a rolling pin and elbow grease will do the job.
Keep the pasta sheet dusted with flour to prevent sticking and feed it through a tagliatelle cutter, or cut into ribbons by hand using either a sharp knife or one of those jazzy wheel cutters. To my mind, pasta isn’t meant to be perfect and the more rustic and hand made it looks the better.
The pasta can easily be made in advance and left to dry a little on a tray covered by a tea towel or simply left sat on a floured work surface, all Italian Nonna like. I always get my eldest daughter, she’s 7, involved in the pasta making. It’s like an edible Play Doh factory. She then gets the pleasure of knowing that she made her own dinner.
If using chicken breasts, dust them generously all over with the rub. Don’t skimp, as the rub will go on to flavour the pasta sauce. Bake the chicken breasts in the oven at 180˚c for 20 minutes until cooked through. Again, this part of the recipe can be done in advance and the chicken covered and left in a low oven for a little while until you need them.
**I used a whole chicken which I rubbed all over with smoked butter and dusted generously with the rub. I sprinkled some more in the cavity to. I appreciate you may think this is a lot of trouble to go to for a pasta dish, but it means I get to use my BBQ and I have leftovers, so this is a no brainier for me. A large whole chicken takes just over an hour on my rotisserie, but if cooking in your oven, follow the guidelines regarding weight/temp/cooking time given on the packaging**
Now that you have 2 of the main components ready to go, all you need to do is make the sauce, which is really quick.
Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan, add the garlic and fry gently until golden. Stir in the Marsala and crème fraîche, and simmer until reduced a little. Slice the chicken and add to the pan along with the tomatoes, stir briefly and season to taste. At this point you can take the pan off the heat while you cook the pasta.
If using dried pasta, cook according to the packet instructions. If using fresh, bring a large pan of generously salted water to the boil, add the pasta and cook for between 1 and 3 minutes. Keep testing it until cooked. Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the cooking liquid.
Pop the frying pan back on the heat briefly, add the Parmesan, half the parsley and spring onions, the cooked pasta and a little of the pasta water. Toss everything together so that the pasta is completely coated in the silky sauce, check for seasoning and serve in warmed bowls, sprinkled with the remaining parsley and spring onions.