This is a popular dish that always looks delicious and tempting, unfortunately many suffering from food intolerance such as wheat would assume this was just one more thing they couldn’t eat (read more food intolerance). However made here with gluten-free penne, it is possible to enjoy this healthy dish which uses fresh, flavourful ingredients to give your palette a real workout. This is a perfect recipe for an evening meal or, in smaller portions, a lunch with friends, especially if you are following a low FODMAP diet or suffer from food intolerance.
1-2 skinless chicken breasts, depending on size
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for rubbing
A pinch of chilli flakes
1 tbsp tomato purée
300g tomato passata
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
200g gluten-free penne pasta
200g diced courgette
125g baby spinach, washed
½ bunch basil, leaves picked
1-2 tbsp finely grated parmesan (optional)
To prepare the chicken, remove the mini-fillet from the breast if attached. Turn the breast over and, with the edge of a knife parallel to the cutting board, begin cutting down the length of the side of the breast. Carefully slice the breast almost in half horizontally, not quite cutting through to the other edge. Keep that edge intact and open up the breast like you are opening up a book. This will make the meat a uniform thickness to ensure a quick and even cooking.
Heat a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the olive oil to the pan. Once warm add chilli flakes and cook for two minutes, then stir in the tomato purée and cook for two more minutes.
Add the passata to the pan, season with pepper, stir to mix well and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Leave to simmer gently while you prepare the rest of the dish.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions. Add the zucchini two minutes before the end of cooking. Drain thoroughly.
Meanwhile heat a griddle pan over a high heat until smoking. Rub the chicken with a little oil and season with a tiny bit of salt and pepper then griddle for 3-5 minutes on each side. Set aside to rest for five minutes before slicing into bite-sized pieces.
Add the cooked pasta and zucchini to the pan with the tomato sauce (if the sauce has thickened too much while simmering then add a little hot water from the pasta). Stir to mix well and then add the cooked and sliced griddled chicken, spinach and the picked basil leaves. Season again with plenty of black pepper and allow the spinach and basil to wilt.
Sprinkle with parmesan, if desired, and serve.
If you worry that you or any of your family suffer from a food intolerance, be sure to contact YorkTest’s food intolerance experts to investigate this further.