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I readily admit that I am easily grossed out by canned food and try to avoid the canned stuff section of supermarkets, if I can help it. My medical mind keeps linking food tins with the myriad of bacteria lying dormant inside and the number of allergic reactions and food poisoning cases I see on a daily basis does not help. This pasta bake was largely a result of leftover corned mutton from mum’s lunch salad and I used the recipe from Fuss Free Flavours to convert this last bit of processed meat into something more edible by masking it with lots of sharp cheddar cheese and arrabiata sauce.

CORNED MUTTON PASTA BAKE

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced

1/2 teaspoon dried chili

1 can chopped tomatoes

340g corned mutton, diced

250g pasta, any small shape

100g mature cheddar, grated

Method:

  • Pour the olive oil into a large frying pan, add the onion and garlic. Fry for a few minutes until golden.

  • Add the pepper, season with pepper and salt and fry until soft. Add the canned tomatoes and chilli.

  • Cook for 5 minutes. Once sauce has thickened, add corned mutton. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  • Simmer until you have a rich and thick corned mutton sauce. Bring a large pan of water to the boil.

  • Add pasta and cook for a few minutes less than the time on the packet instructions. Season lightly.

  • Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water, return it to the cooking pan and stir in sauce.

  • Add a few spoons of the cooking water to loosen the mixture. Transfer to a shallow oven proof dish.

  • Sprinkle the cheese over and bake at 160C fan/Gas 4 for 15-20 minutes until golden and piping hot.

Corned Mutton Pasta Bake

Unless I’m making rougaille I usually prefer eating my tomatoes raw especially in salads or sandwiched between two slices of brown bread along with some other savory filling. But after I spied this ridiculously easy recipe while flipping through my BBC GoodFood Pasta & Noodles Book, I immediately reached out for a fresh punnet of cherry tomatoes and the last of my Panzani Rigatoni Special Sauce. For this quick dinner, I threw in a bit of leftover chicken and some torn basil leaves for extra flavor but you can also add broccoli, baby corn or carrots. The heat from that little sprinkling of smoked paprika combines wonderfully with the sweetness of cherry tomatoes in this hearty pasta dish.

CHERRY TOMATO PASTA

Ingredients:

450g cherry tomatoes

Pinch of golden caster sugar

1 brown onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 teaspoon dried oregano

5 tablespoons vegetable stock

350g short pasta shapes/penne

200g cooked chicken, shredded

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan

Salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

  • Put the tomatoes, sugar, onion, garlic, oregano and vegetable stock in a large saucepan.

  • Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes over low heat. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water as per packet instructions.

  • Drain well and toss with a teaspoon olive oil. Add chicken and paprika to tomato sauce.

  • Pour over cooked pasta. Toss and garnish with oregano and Parmesan cheese. Serves 4.

Cherry Tomato Pasta

I hardly ever order salad when I’m eating out but this particular salad meal caught my eye when I first visited the only Greek restaurant in Mauritius. Zorbas, a quaint coastal restaurant with a lovely view over Grand Baie, was not actually open when I stepped in for an impromptu lunch. The guys there, however, took my order and encouraged me to try their Souvlaki ‘sandwich’ – a yogurt flavored chicken salad, served along with pita bread and Tzatziki. My first encounter with the Greek Souvlaki brings back good memories and incredibly it took me this long to share it with you. The recipe, from CafeDelites, is refreshingly simple and needs no more than 30 minutes to put everything together since the marinade itself doubles up as the salad dressing. Make sure you have enough pita bread to soak it up.

GREEK SOUVLAKI CHICKEN SALAD

Ingredients:

For the Marinade

2 large chicken breasts

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

Cracked pepper

For The Tazatziki

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 Lebanese cucumber

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Pinch of kitchen salt

For The Salad

3 Lebanese cucumbers, sliced

250g cherry tomatoes

1 green pepper, sliced

1/2 red onion, sliced thinly

200 g marinated Feta cheese

1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives

Method:

  • Whisk together marinade ingredients in a large, shallow dish. Pour out 1/3 cup to use as the dressing.

  • Reserve the dressing in the refrigerator for later use. Add chicken to the marinade and coat it evenly.

  • Cover chicken mixture and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.

  • Combine Tzatziki ingredients in a bowl and mix them well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

  • Toss the salad ingredients together in a salad bowl and divide them between four serving plates.

  • Heat a large grill pan or a skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade.

  • Add chicken to hot pan. Sear until the chicken is cooked through, for about 5-6 minutes each side.

  • Remove chicken from the pan; allow to rest for about 5 minutes. Slice thickly and arrange on salad.

  • Slice warmed flatbreads and arrange on plates. Drizzle with reserved dressing and serve with Tzatziki.

Greek Souvlaki Chicken Salad

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PrerrnaMirchi
Mauritius

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