Another Christmas, another excellent cook book from the lovely Alberto! This year it’s The Islands of Greece by Rebecca Seal. It’s a lovely, lavishly illustrated book full of delicious looking Greek recipes.
So, having opened it on Sunday evening I was, by Monday evening, cooking a brand new recipe from the book. I had a flick through and immediately spotted three or four episodes that looked really tasty and eventually decided upon this one.
The ingredients were mostly easy to find, although I had to go a bit further afield for some pecorino cheese as Sainsbury’s didn’t stock it. The alternative suggestion of Kefalotyri was definitely a no-go as even Waitrose didn’t seem to have that! The sauce, a combination of red wine, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée and spices was tasty and rich. I do wonder whether I reduced the sauce down a little too much, although it did say to simmer it for 35 minutes until ‘most of the liquid is reduced’, so I reckon it came out how it was supposed to.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
450g of boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of tomato purée
200ml of red wine
200g of chopped tomatoes
1 cinnamon stick
⅛ of teaspoon of ground allspice
2 bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
200g of fresh tagliatelle
Shaved pecorino cheese to serve
In a wide frying pan heat the oil over a medium heat and brown the chicken pieces. The recipe says to do this in two batches, but I found that my pan was large enough to do it all at once.
Reduce the heat and add the onion. Cook gently for 8 minutes or so, until soft and well sweated, stirring often. Then add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring again.
Add the tomato purée, stir well and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Deglaze the pan by adding the red wine and scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan.
Add the tomatoes, cinnamon, allspice, bay leaves and 100ml of hot water and season well.
Stir, reduce the heat and simmer over a low heat for 35 minutes, partly covered with a lid, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is reduced and the sauce is ready.
Cook the pasta in boiling water for one minute less than the instructions on the packet, drain well. Discard the bay leaves and cinnamon stick from the pasta sauce and stir in the pasta.
Serve immediately, garnished with the shaved pecorino cheese.