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A creamy chicken and sundried tomato pasta which is delicious to eat, very quick to make, and light enough to stay off your conscience, thanks to a secret ingredient.

In addition, most ingredients are (or should be) pantry staples, making your shopping list a one-item affair (the chicken – unless you have some in your freezer!). Does this recipe keep getting better and better or what?

So let’s get to the secret ingredient. The conscience-related one. Have you ever tried sundried tomatoes in a cream-based sauce? Ah. They’re amazing. You should. In this case however, I thought I’d keep the dish on the light side, so I used what I often do when I want a thigh- or pocket-friendly replacement for cream. Evaporated milk. Obviously I’m not referring to sweetened condensed milk okay? Just thought I’d clarify that… No, I mean the plain, old-fashioned, kind of yucky to drink, tinned evaporated milk. You can easily keep a couple of tins in your cupboard, and they don’t only have to be for when you run out of fresh milk for your coffee. Have you tried it in bread pudding? I rest my case.

Moving on to the recipe. It’s very easy, but it does require some good timing. So be mindful that all your ingredients are prepped beforehand, and try and stick to the details in the steps below. If you’ve not made this kind of dish often, you could make or at least start the chicken and sauce before the pasta, and then leave it off the heat in the pan till it’s time to add the pasta. The most important thing to remember is to not overcook the chicken so it stays nice and juicy.

Do you substitute anything with evaporated milk?


250 gr pasta of your preference

1 Tbs butter

1 Tbs olive oil

2 chicken breast halves, skin and bone off, cut into 8 pieces each

8 sundried tomato halves, from a jar, cut into thin strips

3/4 tsp tarragon, dried

1/2 tsp sweet paprika

1/2 tsp salt (+ extra for boiling pasta)

1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly cracked

1/4 cup + extra if needed, water from the boiling pasta

1/2 cup + extra if needed, evaporated milk

grated cheese for serving (parmesan or pecorino type) optional

Step 1

Mix spices and herbs in a small bowl and set aside. Put the pasta into a large pan of boiling salted water (add salt after it boils).

Step 2

Straight away put a large deep frying pan (it will need to fit all the ingredients later) on to medium/high heat to warm up. Once warm add the butter and oil. When it foams add the chicken pieces and leave for 6 minutes to change colour or go very slightly golden on all sides.

Step 3

Add the mixture of tarragon, paprika, salt and pepper, as well as the sundried tomatoes and stir for a minute.

Step 4

Add the 1/4 cup of pasta water and stir for another minute.

Step 5

At this point, if you want, you can test the chicken. Working quickly cut the largest piece in half. If it’s pink leave for another minute, if white add the evaporated milk to the pan and turn heat down to medium/low.

Step 6

Drain your pasta retaining some more water in case it’s needed. By this time it should be boiling for about 10-11 minutes. Add it to the pan with the chicken and mix well for a minute at the most. Add some more water or milk if you want to make it saucier.

Step 7

Serve immediately, with some grated cheese if desired. I don’t add cheese as I don’t want it to overtake the delicate taste of the tarragon.

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