When I'm home alone I have a bit of a dilemma - to cook or to scourge around in the pantry for snacks? Cooking for one seems like such a waste of effort and I can usually only be bothered to do it if I'm starving. Unfortunately, by then, I have no tolerance for any preparation/waiting time so I'll just whip up something lazy and fast.
The good thing about this pasta dish is that it's super fast, even fast enough by my standards, but it's also nutritious, low fat and still tastes good. I had 3 pots and pans going at once but it's not as franctic as it sounds. If you have the appropriate ingredients lying around in the house, this makes a good meal solution.
I whipped up enough stew for 2-3 servings but just enough pasta for myself. The rest of the stew will be eaten tonight, maybe with a bit of mince added to make a faux bolognese-style sauce.
Penne Pasta with Vegetable Stew
Servings vary depending on how much pasta you cook
- dried penne pasta, enough to satisfy your hunger :)
- 1 and 1/2 cups of V8 juice (spicey vegetable flavor - you can use normal tomato juice)
- 1 beef stock cube (optional)
- 3/4 cup chopped, steamed veggies (I used cauliflower, broccolini, carrot, cellery and a bit of potato - basically whatever you have lying around)
1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lean chicken breast, sliced
- grated parmesan and chopped flat-leaf parsley to serve
1. In a med-sized saucepan, heat up the V8/tomato juice to the boil. Reduce the heat to a steady simmer and add the vegetables. Because they're pre-steamed, you only have to wait until they're reheated throughout.2. Add the oregano and Italian herb mix. Add the flour and stir through quickly to thicken the stew. Taste and season to your liking.
3. Cook the penne pasta to the package instructions. Drain and set aside in the pan to let the excess water evaporate.
4. In the meantime, pan fry the chicken breast pieces in a bit of olive oil until browned and cooked throughout.
5. Spoon the pasta into a bowl, top with some sauce and chicken pieces. Serve with grated parmesan and chopped parsley.
This pasta dish was so easy and taste-wise, really hit the spot. I love using the spicey V8 juice (I've done it before for a meatball pasta) because it has such a firey, unique flavor. I think the sauce will be great with some mince too and that's what I'll be using it with tonight, instead of chicken. The chicken pieces are optional and add a bit of body to the pasta dish. If you like, you can go without or substitute with an alternative meat.