Main Meals

January 5, 2022

Mediterranean Vegetable & Chicken Stelline

When I say that this is good, I mean, this is goooooood!! If you know me well, you'll know that the Italian cuisine is one of my favourites - the fresh tomatoes, the fragrant herbs, the silky pasta, I could just eat it all the time. However, I'd never heard of Stelline pasta before, and it's really delicious. Essentially another form of orzo pasta, it's shaped into tiny stars, and makes any dish just extra-special due to this. Perfect for large family gatherings, or last-minute get togethers, this bake is super-satisfying, incredibly comforting and just a joy to serve. It's a perfect example of good mood food all round...

Mediterranean Vegetable and chicken stelline bake
Mediterranean Vegetable & Veggie Chicken Stelline

Experimental Feelings

What I also love about this particular dish is that it's a great way to introduce people to vegetarian chicken. Given that it's mixed with plenty of tender roasted vegetables, oozing sauce and the pasta, it's not at all obvious that it's mixed in, but it helps to just given an extra texture and portion of protein to the meal. (You may even find that your diners won't notice it's even included in the bake!) By cleverly introducing the vegetarian chicken in this way, you'l be doing your purse, your bodies and your planet a whole lot of good - and it's seriously tasty, so it's an absolute win!!

Close up of orzo pasta bake
Mediterranean Vegetable and Chicken Stelline, served with fresh basil

Mediterranean Vegetable & Chicken Stelline

A comforting and soothing bake that will transport you to dreamy Italian family evenings...

Prep:

15

min

cook:

30

min

total:

45

min

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 large courgette, chopped
  • 1 aubergine, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh sage
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 400g tinned tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp apple-cider vinegar
  • 1 litre boiling stock
  • 300g stelline or orzo pasta
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 440g naked glory chicken pieces
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 100ml red wine
  • 3 jarred red peppers
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Additional: fresh basil, parmesan for grating, toasted pine nuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 220°C / Fan 200 / 425°F / Gas Mark 7.
  2. Place the red onion, courgette, aubergine, red pepper and 5 cloves of garlic in a large roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Throw in the fresh sage and rosemary and roast for roughly 30 minutes, or until the vegetables have browned slightly.
  3. In a large saucepan, mix together the remaining garlic, chopped tinned tomatoes, dried oregano, dried thyme and red wine and cook gently over a medium heat for 10 minutes. When the sauce has slightly thickened, add in the tomato puree, red wine vinegar, apple-cider vinegar and balsamic vinegar and give everything a good mix. Continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
  4. In a small blender or food processor, blend together the jarred peppers. Once blended, stir this mixture into the tomato sauce and season with some salt and pepper. Pour in the boiling stock and cook for a further 15 minutes over a medium heat, until the tomato sauce has continued to thicken and is ever-so slightly simmering.
  5. Cook the orzo or stelline packet according to instructions and drain once cooked.
  6. In a large frying pan, cook the veggie chicken pieces in some olive oil over a medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the chicken pieces are slightly browned and hot all the way through.
  7. In a large casserole pan, mix together the orzo pasta, roasted vegetables and veggie chicken pieces, and then stir in the tomato sauce. Once everything fully combined, season with some salt and pepper and bake for 15 minutes until golden on the top. Once cooked, finish with a generous serving of parmesan, toasted pine nuts and fresh basil and serve immediately.
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Monday, August 9, 2021
Vivien Christie
this version of veggie nachos is so tasty, we have it every time we entertain family and friends. It's a staple recipe, and so easy to make, you must try it!