Casereccia Pollo Piccante

Considering the overwhelming response to our first blog article on one of my favourite pasta recipes – Strozzapreti Pesto Rosso, it is only apt that we tempt your taste buds with another special one. An Italian chicken pasta preparation which adds to our another favourite to the collection. Most importanty can cook this beauty in under 8 to 10 minutes, with all the ingredients chopped & in hand.

Whenever I visit a Zizzi restaurant in the UK, my choice is pretty clear for mains it is reserved between two types of pastas and one rissoto. Call me predicatable. But they are clearly irrestiable. A quick peak into my “main” targets.

Strozzapretti Pesto RossoSpicy chicken, red pesto, mascarpone & spring onions.

Casereccia Pollo PiccanteSpicy harissa chicken in a creamy sauce with heritage tomatoes & spinach.

Risotto PesceKing prawns, mussels & squid rings, with tomato, chilli & white wine.

Breaking Down the Recipe

Casareccia Pasta is a Sicilian twisted tube-shaped pasta. From the end, it looks like an “S.”
Its shape catches and holds sauce very well. This helps to make it a particularly good pasta for baking, as there is less chance of it being dry.

Piccante represents spicy hot or sharp and I believe it used to refer to the roasted chilli half which is used to dress the dish finally.

You’ll Need:

Serves 1 :

  • 200 gram Casareccia Pasta
  • Cooking oil
  • Torn Cooked Spicy Chicken
  • 5 Cherry Plum Tomatoes
  • 10 gram Harissa Sauce
  • 115ml Double Cream
  • Salt
  • Peper
  • Spinach
  • Roasted Chilli Half

What to do:

  • Tear your chicken breast in to small pieces – and lightly coat with chilli paste (at times I make use of sirancha sauce or schezwan sauce, ensure it is used in moderation, as it will affect the taste of the dish).
  • For added flavour season the chicken with freshly ground pepper and a little salt.
  • In a pan, add the olive oil and sauté the chicken breast for about a minute or two. Ensure the chicken is cooked.
  • Take 200 gram casareccia pasta cook the same for 8 to 10 minutes seperately in boiled water with salt. Once it is cooked drain the pasta and mix with table spoon of olive oil in a strainer and leave to settle aside.
  • Add 5 cherry plum tomatoes and stir in the pan.
  • Add 10 gram harissa sauce and stir for a minute.
  • Add 115ml double cream and stir for a minute.
  • Mix all the ingredients together until the cream turns a nice orange colour
  • Add salt and paper to taste.
  • Reduce the sauce as per your favoured consistency.
  • Finally add the cooked pasta into the pan and add few leaves of spinach
  • Add a roasted chilli half to decorate the dish.
  • Voila! You have the beautiful Casereccia Pollo Piccante ready in under 10 minutes (if you have all the ingredients ready)

Live in action:

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Angelo’s Strozzapreti Pesto Rosso

Will the first question which comes to your mind must be, who is Angelo ? And for those unfamiliar with Italian cuisine which I very dearly love, Strozzapreti Pesto Rosso is equally a question mark.

While I was away in UK for my three year work stint, I was introduced to the Italian cuisine by my dear friends. More specifically to a chain of commercial restaurants titled ‘Zizzi’

Pronounced as “zeezee”, it is a last name originating from Siclian dialect Zizzu, meaning “stylish youth”. Also from Arabic Aziz meaning “beloved”, “beautiful” and “mighty”. — Sarah Henson, Customer Experience Representative (Wikipedia)

Zizzi has 136 restaurants  in UK and the chain was founded in 1999. Rest assured it is pretty good and nearly gives an authentic Italian feel with a masonry oven visible over the counter to the customers where pizzas are prepared and then baked to order.

Zizzi is known for its pasta, pizza and salads.

Coming back to question one, who is Angelo ? Angelo Garofalo is the head chef at the Zizzi chain, Italian born and bred. He is known to be the driving force behind every dish on the Zizzi menu.

Digging into the food part of it. Strozzapreti – are Strozzapreti are an elongated form of cavatelli, or hand-rolled pasta typical of the Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Marche and Umbria regions of Italy as well as in the state of San Marino. (Wikipedia)

One step ahead, pesto rosso gets its intense red hue from the sun dried tomatoes and Aleppo pepper, which brings sweetness and heat to its flavor. It is thickened with almonds. It is a variant of the traditionally green pesto sauce.

Connecting all the dots together we have a fantastic, yet simple recipe from the chef which takes a handful of ingredients to make one of the most mouth watering pastas ever in under 30 mins.

It is very simple and easy to make and serves well for even a young novice like me.

With all due respect the recipe is on his blog. Click on the link below http://www.zizzi.co.uk/blog/2013/strozzapreti/

Tell us what you think after you have given it a shot !

Enjoy Angelo’s Strozzapreti Pesto Rosso !

You’ll Need:

Olive Oil

Chilli paste

1 roasted chicken breast

1 TBSP spring onions

4 oz. vegetable stock

2 – 3 oz. crème fraiche

2 oz. red pesto

Salt and pepper

200g cooked pasta

Sprig of parsley

What to do:

– Tear your chicken breast in to small pieces – and lightly coat with chilli paste

– In a pan, add the olive oil and sauté the chicken breast for about a minute or two

-Add your spring onion, then crème fraîche, then the veg stock and finally the red pesto…then bring to boil

-Add salt and pepper

-Once sauce is reduced – add your cooked pasta

-Mix all together, add the sprig of parsley to garnish and serve

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