HOT & COLD SUMMER SPAGHETTI
A chilled sauce of tomato, garlic, feta, fresh herbs, olive oil and chicken is poured over piping-hot spaghetti to create an explosion of vibrant Mediterranean flavours. You can make this unusual dish with ready-roasted chicken if you’re in a hurry – see Papa Grandé’s Tips, below.
Prep: 30 minutes Cook: 15 minutes Serves: 4 - 6
- 6 skinned, deboned chicken breasts
- a thin slice of lemon, peel on
- 1 cup (250 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) white wine vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 tsp (10 ml) Dijon mustard
- 2 cups (500 ml) cherry tomatoes, halved
- a small bunch of chives or spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 cup (250 ml) black olives
- 1½ cups (375 ml) cubed feta cheese
- ¼ cup (60 ml) capers, drained
- 1 cup (250 ml, loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 cup (250 ml) fresh basil, roughly chopped, plus extra to garnish
- 1 x 500 g pack Pasta Grandé Spaghetti
- 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
- 4 litres water
- freshly ground black pepper
- Place the chicken breasts in a pot, cover with water and add a pinch of salt and the slice of lemon.
- Turn the heat to low and bring the water to a very gentle simmer. Once you see bubbles, poach the chicken breasts for about 10-12 minutes, or until just cooked through but still very tender. Alternatively, you can oven-poach them (see Papa Grandé’s Tips, below).
- Remove the pan from the heat and set the breasts aside to cool to in their cooking liquid. Discard the lemon slice once they’ve cooled.
- Put the olive oil, vinegar, garlic and mustard into a large mixing bowl and whisk well. Stir in the tomatoes, spring onions, olives, feta cheese, capers, basil and parsley.
- Drain the chicken breasts, cut into slices and add them to the mixing bowl, along with half a cup of the cooled poaching liquid. Cover and place it in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Bring the water and salt to a fast boil in a large pot. Add all the pasta in one go and stir to separate the pieces. Briefly cover the pot with a lid until the water comes back to a rapid boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring now and then, for 6-8 minutes, or until just tender (al dente).
- Drain the pasta in a colander and tip it into a serving platter. Immediately pour the cold sauce over the hot pasta, tossing well so the heat releases the flavours.
- Season to taste with salt and black pepper and serve right away, with a garnish of extra basil leaves.
- If you’re in a hurry, used a torn-up ready-roasted chicken instead of poached breasts.
- Chicken breasts can also be poached in water in the oven – place in a ceramic dish, add a lemon slice and a pinch of salt, cover with hot water and bake in an oven preheated to 180 °C for about 30 minutes, or until just cooked through.
- Don’t marinate the chicken for too long, or the olive oil will solidify in the fridge.
- For extra zing, add a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes.
Hot & Cold Summer Spaghetti
For extra zing, add a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes or some finely chopped fresh chillies.