Rigatoni Mexicana

 

I’m writing this recipe while I eat my second helping of this delicious pasta dish. I apologise in advance for blowing my own trumpet but this tastes so good. I was inspired to make this after trying to Buzzfeed One-Pot Fajita Pasta twice. I had wanted to share a vegetarian rendition of the recipe but, while I love the flavours, I was disappointed with the consistency both times. I just love the idea of an Italian/Mexican love-child meal so I didn’t give up and I’m glad I didn’t.

The other great thing about this recipe is it is low-fat and if you follow Slimming World, it can be syn free if you take the cheese as your Healthy Extra A choice and use low-cal spray instead of oil. If you don’t follow any diet plans but want to eat healthy, this is a great low-fat option. That’s just a bonus to the fact that it’s meat-free and freakin’ DELICIOUS.

This recipe serves two-three people but as usual, you can alter it to suit your level of hunger. If you don’t want to use Quorn chicken pieces you could add extra veg. I was really lazy and used frozen peppers but you can throw in whatever vegetables you have in the fridge.

Top tip: please don’t drain your pasta before adding the pasta water to the frying pan. I’ve done this before when cooking certain recipes and it’s a pain in the butt when you forget.

Ingredients
  • 150g Dried Rigatoni Pasta
  • 1 Red Onion (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 2 Peppers (any colour, deseeded and roughly chopped)
  • 200g Meat-Free “Chicken” Pieces i.e Quorn
  • 2tsp Cumin
  • 1tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1tsp Mild Chilli Powder
  • Good Grinding of Rock Salt
  • 2tsp Soy Sauce
  • 40g Soft Cheese (I used Garlic & Herb Philly)
  • 40g Cheddar Cheese (Grated)
  • Oil
Method
  1. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Salt and add your pasta. Remember to stir occasionally to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat a slosh of oil in a non-stick frying pan on a high heat. Start by adding the red onion and garlic and fry for about 3 minutes.
  3. Throw in the “chicken pieces” and chopped peppers, fry for a further 3 minutes until the pieces start to cook through.
  4. Add the cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika, mild chilli powder and a good grinding of rock salt. Stir until the “chicken” and veg are completely coated. Fry for 2 minutes before adding the dash of soy sauce and stir-frying some more.
  5. Now add 40g soft cheese and stir continuously so that it melts and coats the ingredients.
  6. Before draining the pasta, take a ladleful of pasta water and add to the frying pan. Mix to create a sort of glossy sauce. If it’s not saucy enough then add another spoonful of pasta water.
  7. Drain the pasta and add to the frying pan. Mix. Add the grated cheddar cheese and mix again until the cheese melts away and you’re left with a delicious, gooey pasta dish.
  8. Serve and enjoy.
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