Musings and photos of my attempts to create edible food.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmas Huts and Pasta

Jenny and I went to visit the Bath Christmas Market this year. It was a surprisingly British assault of the senses - politely queuing crowds, neat rows of wooden huts and a pervasive sweet, slightly spicy smell. This it transpired was one of the several stalls selling caramelised nuts, roasted in big round copper pans right there on the stalls. To further the culinary excitement hiding round the corner was a very friendly French man from near Lyons selling half a dozen types of saucisson from which we purchased a paprika saucisson - to be enjoyed over Christmas.

One of the reasons for visiting bath was to go out for dinner with a friend, and Jamie's Italian seemed like a suitable destination. This was a refreshing reminder of how simple pasta can be. All three of us ordered a pasta dish, and none of them came with a highly complex sauce that took days to make. They were all undeniably tasty. Having made a few pasta dishes in the past year I felt challenged to take this concept of simple pasta and cook something. The result is below. I also discovered a chocolate tart recipe in my Italian cookery book. Chocolate crème patisserie in a citrus pastry case topped with almonds! I would share the recipe but that would be plagarism. Instead try getting this out of your local library (or ordering one)!

Joe's Chicken and Tarragon Pasta

Serves 4


  • Two large chicken breasts
  • One serving spoon of tarragon
  • One lemon
  • 50g Butter
  • 100ml White wine
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Pasta for four
    • 3 Eggs
    • 300g 00 Flour
Make the pasta using your preferred method - find one you like and have adjusted. I tend to use three eggs and 300g of flour to make enough pasta for four people. Whilst the pasta is resting melt the butter and lightly fry the garlic. Once the garlic is colouring add the lemon zest, half the tarragon and remove from the heat.
Dice the chicken into small pieces and fry using some of the garlic butter until golden brown. Whilst this is frying cook the pasta. Add some more butter and de-glaze the pan with the white wine and the juice from half the lemon. Add the remaining tarragon and reduce the sauce a little. Pour the cooking liquor over the pasta and toss it lightly. Serve the pasta and place the chicken and tarragon on top. Top with grated Parmesan.


  1. Mmmm, sounds tasty. My favourite 15 minute meal is to cook pasta and then add creme fraiche, pepper, freshly grated nutmeg, and to stir in some bacon and sage that have been fried until crispy while the pasta cooked. So good!

    1. I love crispy bacon and creme fraiche but testing this may have to wait until our sage bush has recovered from my tender ministrations last summer (or severe pruning as it may be called). Thanks Chloe :)