Warming and spicy, this Cajun chicken pasta recipe is a go-to for cosy nights in. Originating from the US state of Louisiana, Cajun spice is a distinct blend of paprika, garlic and cayenne pepper and works brilliantly with the fresh flavours in this dish. Rigatoni is combined with the spicy chicken sauce before being topped with cheese and popped under the grill until golden and crispy. Serve with a handful of fresh parsley and tuck in.
Grated Italian Style Hard Cheese(ContainsMilk, Egg)
Diced Chicken Thigh
Finely Chopped Tomatoes 390g
Chicken Stock Powder
Wheat Rigatoni Pasta(ContainsGluten)
Flat Leaf Parsley
Put a large saucepan of water with a pinch of salt on to boil for the wheat pasta. Peel and grate the garlic (or use a garlic press). Roughly chop the parsley (stalks and all). Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
When the oil is hot, add the diced chicken and pancetta. Brown the chicken and pancetta on all sides, turning frequently. This will take around 6-8 mins, stirring occasionally. Once browned, stir in the garlic, Cajun spice blend(don't use it all if you're not a fan of spice!) and tomato purée. Cook for 1 minute
Stir in the chopped tomatoes, water (see ingredients for amount) and stock powder and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thick and tomatoey, 10-12 mins. IMPORTANT: The chicken is cooked when it is no longer pink in the middle.
Meanwhile, add the wheat rigatoni to the pan of boiling water. Cook for 11 mins. Drain into a colander when ready, then return to the pan o the heat. Stir in a drizzle of oil to stop it sticking together. Preheat your grill to its highest setting.
Once the sauce is cooked, pour it into the pan with the wheat rigatoni. Add half the parsley and stir well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the wheat pasta and sauce to an ovenproof dish and sprinkle on the cheese. Pop under the grill.
Grill until the cheese is golden and bubbly, 2-3 mins then get ready to serve. Share between your bowls and finish with a sprinkling of remaining parsley. Enjoy!