Before you start into this there is a disclaimer: This is not a low fat, low calorie dish,but it is OH SO TASTY! It is also not a simple pasta sauce… so read on if you are still interested 🙂
While living in Sydney we often use to go to an Italian restaurant in Dee Why call Stella Blue. They make “Chicken Calabrese” which is a creamy tomato and chicken pasta with sundried tomatoes. I often enjoyed it at Stella and thought, this is so yummy I should make it at home! So in my usual style, I ordered and while eating, wrote down all the ingredients and went home and made it. I’m not sure if I got all the ingredients right, but hey, it tastes fantastic!
Calabrese in Italian means “Those who derive from Calabria”, The southern most region of the Italian mainland. I’m not sure why it is called that, I am assuming that this is a recipe from that region, I don’t exactly know.
It is a fiddly recipe if you don’t have a Thermomix, but it is still worth it… I have been making it for years without one but I tend to make a large batch and freeze, so I only have to make it a couple of times a year. The salt and sugar option is important, you need to balance out the flavour of the tomato. make sure when you add salt you add the same amount of sugar.
If you like my Tomato and Red Lentil Soup. Instead of using tinned soup at the end I use 400g of this sauce, it makes it oh sooooooo good!
1 Clove of Garlic
250g of Sun Dried Tomatoes (I use the strips so I don’t have to cut them)
30g of Oil from the Sun Dried Tomato Bottle
1 x 700ml Bottle of Passata
200ml Water (200g)
1 x Tin of Diced Tomatoes (400g approx)
1 x Block of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
500g – 1 kg of Chicken Thigh (sliced into strips). You can have as much or as little chicken depending on how many people you are feeding. You can use breast, but the thigh have more flavour…I don’t mind either way!
1 – 3 Chillis (optional)
200g Sour Cream
1 dessertspoon Sugar
1 dessertspoon Salt
Cooked Pasta (This is enough sauce for 500g – 1kg of pasta)
Parsley and Parmesan cheese to serve
Method – Sauce
1. Add Finely chop onions and mince garlic to a large pot and saute in the oil for about 10 minutes.
2. Add 200g of the sundried tomatoes (saving 50g for serving), 1 tin tomatoes and the bottle of passata to the pot, rinse out bottle with water and add to the cooking pot as well.
3. Bring to the boil then cook on a low simmer for 30 – 40 minutes (if you are making a double batch cook for about an hour) then salt and sugar to taste.
4. When cooked and cooled add ingredients in batches to a food processor along with the block of Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Put batches in a large bowl and stir together so that the Cream cheese is evenly distributed throughout the sauce. (If you have a stick blender, just do it in the pot, making sure you chop up the Cream Cheese)
5. This is your base sauce! You can freeze this and use later or continue on with the rest of the recipe to finish.
Method – Calabrese
1. Place another 10g of the sun-dried tomato oil in a sauce pan on a medium heat and cook the chicken breast or thighs. This is the point where you add the chilli (lots, a little, or none)
2. Pour in a batch of sauce onto of the chicken and allow to simmer gently for 20 minutes
3. Take off the heat stir and stir in sour cream and the last 50g of sliced sun-dried tomatoes.
4. Pour sauce over hot cooked pasta and sprinkle with parsley, parmesan cheese and a little chilli if you like it hot!
THERMOMIX METHOD TM31, TM5 & TM6 Compatible
1. Place onions and garlic in mixing bowl and chop 3 seconds/speed 7.
2. Scrape down bowl and add oil and sauté 5 minutes/Varoma/Speed 2.
3. Add 200g’s of the sundried tomatoes (save 50g for serving), tin tomatoes, salt and sugar, passata and rinse out bottle with water and add to the mixing bowl as well as well (this is the point where you add the chilli, lots, a little or none).
4. Gently insert mixing basket (it is a full load so put it in slowly so that the sauce goes through the mixing basket holes and doesn’t spill over).
5. Add as much of the sliced chicken that will fit into the mixing basket (place the rest into the bottom of the Varoma, place onto of the closed lid and cook for 30 – 45 minutes/100 degrees/speed 2. (the time depends on how large you have cut your chicken, check to make sure it is fulled cooked before moving on the the next step)
6. Carefully remove mixing basket with the cooked chicken in it and pour into a ThermoServer.
7. Add roughly chopped Philadelphia cream cheese and sour cream to the tomato sauce in the mixing bowl and blend 1 minute/speed 5.
8. Pour the contents of the mixing bowl over the chicken and stir, adding the last 50g of sundried tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste.
9. Pour the sauce over cooked pasta (if you have a second Thermomserver you can cook the pasta in it while the sauce is cooking click HERE for the link)
10. Serve with parmesan cheese, parsley and a little bit more chilli if you like it hot.
I normally serve this with my home made egg pasta. The recipe for that can be found on my Pinterest Page. Home Made Egg Pasta
I just have to share this little story because it made me very happy as I would like to think that I can cook Italian food well. One year while living in Sydney, I volunteered to cook for some visiting Italian Pastors, I served this recipe to them and they all asked for seconds… So I think that says something. One of the ladies even asked me for the recipe, so the fact that real Italians like it, makes it my favourite!
Well that is that then. After many people asking me for this recipe, it is here for the world to see 🙂 I hope you enjoy the creamy, sundried tomato flavour of this pasta. Please let me know what you think and leave a comment.
Enjoy Irresponsibly and Happy Cooking!