Creamy chicken & pumpkin spaghetti

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Ingredients

  • 350g chicken breast (diced)
  • 1/2 red onion (diced)
  • 4-5 button mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 zucchini (sliced)
  • Handful of cashew nuts
  • 410g tin of lentils (drained and rinsed)
  • Delmaine Pumpkin, Parmesan & Roasted Garlic pasta sauce
  • Spaghetti
  • Fresh basil (optional)
  • Grated cheese (optional)
    • The pasta sauce is creamy and already has parmesan so I didn’t find it needed any added cheese.

Allergies: soy free; egg free; peanut free. Note: the recipe includes dairy and tree nuts which may require substitution.

I was trying to work out what to title this recipe since the sauce is a bit of a misnomer as it’s not made from scratch. The focus is more on the base of the recipe before the sauce is added as it’s intended to be nutritious and cost effective. I remember, in my youth, flatting with guys who thought that spaghetti should be served with massive quantities of chicken and no vegetables (actually, they argued that bacon should be classified as a vegetable but that’s obviously wishful thinking).

This recipe has at least as much legume as meat, plus cashew nuts for crunch, so there’s plenty of protein but from multiple sources. It also has vegetables included in both the base dish and the sauce. The sauce is delicious and I definitely recommend it; feel free to swap it for another (I picked mine up very cheaply from an outlet store).

The quantities are for approx. 2 adult & 2 child serves so feel free to scale accordingly or add more veggies.

Directions

  1. Prepare meat and vegetables. Once all of the chopping is done move on to the spaghetti.
  2. Put spaghetti on to cook as per directions. Dry spaghetti normally takes about 10-12 mins to cook which is enough time to cook up the topping.
  3. Start the chicken and onion cooking in a little oil. Personally, I use an electric wok which is nice and quick to heat.
  4. Once the chicken is starting to brown, usually 3-4 mins, add the mushrooms, zucchini, and cashew nuts.
  5. After a couple of minutes add the lentils. Gently pour a small amount of water in to help keep the lentils from sticking. Stir and add a little more water if needed. The goal is for the water to absorb any juices from the chicken, keep the lentils from sticking, and absorb into the lentils/evaporate.
  6. Once the lentils have heated and are soft (shouldn’t take long), add the sauce and simmer gently to warm it through.
  7. Drain and rinse the spaghetti.
  8. Serve the spaghetti and topping; garnish with fresh basil.
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