Orecchiette with mixed mushrooms, parsley and lemon
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tamara West
Deliciously mushroomy on its own or topped with sliced chicken escalopes.
- Cook pasta in simmering salted water until al dente, about 15 minutes. Drain, refresh under cold water and set aside.
- In a heavy-based saucepan heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over a low heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 250g gourmet brown mushrooms and stir to coat with oil. Pour in vegetable stock and cook until reduced to a syrupy consistency. Add the cream, reduce again a little and taste for seasoning. Keep warm.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small frying pan and over a high heat quickly pan-fry the remaining mushrooms until tender. Squeeze in lemon juice and stir through parsley.
- If necessary, heat mushroom sauce and add orecchiette pasta. Heat through. Divide between 4 pasta bowls and top with the pan-fried mushrooms and chicken if cooking.
- Put 2 skinless chicken breasts on a chopping board. Using a large sharp knife, cut through each breast horizontally and open out (as if you were reading a book).
- Cover the opened-out chicken with plastic wrap or baking paper. Using a meat mallet, rolling pin or the base of a small heavy saucepan, pound the chicken until about 5mm thick. The thicker end of the breast will need a little more pounding than the thinner end of an escalope for even thickness.
- Season 1 Tbsp flour with salt and pepper. Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat.
- Coat the chicken escalopes in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess.
- Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in the frying pan and, when hot, add the escalopes. Pan-fry for 2 minutes on each side. Leave to rest for about 1 minute then slice.