A few weeks before the school year ended, I bought a kilo of boned chicken breast to make chicken salad sandwiches for the kids to bring to school. I boiled and flaked all the chicken to save time. The following day, the kids were bored with a chicken salad sandwich. I was stuck with all that flaked chicken breast. Solution? Pasta. The problem was, if I used all that chicken in one pasta dish, I would be stuck with pasta leftovers after one day–leftovers I would not be able to recycle. A better solution: two pasta dishes that are radically different from one another. Chicken tetrazzini would be very simple to prepare and I could use half of the remaining flaked chicken breast instead of letting it sit in the fridge. The remaining half would go into the chicken macaroni with tomato sauce.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in 1 tbsp. softened butter. In a saucepan, melt 1/2 tbsp. of butter. Saute onions until transparent. Add chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until chicken is heated through. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
Over medium heat, melt 1/8 c. of butter in the saucepan. Add flour all at once, stirring briskly to avoid lumps from forming. Stir until the flour is cooked (the mixture will be thick and golden in color). Pour in the stock little by little, stirring the sauce constantly. Heat the butter-flour-stock mixture until it starts to boil then return the chicken and onions to the saucepan. When the sauce starts to simmer, turn off the heat and add the chopped parsley. Adjust the seasonings. Add the buttered spaghetti to the sauce. Toss lightly. Transfer to a serving plate and top with grated cheese. Serve at once with garlic bread.
Spanish Sardines Spaghetti
I was so pleased that the cooked dish turned out so well. Great. So, I guess it’s important to say that in cooking this dish, choose the sardines with caution. The ones that come in jars are more firm and better-flavored. They cost more than twice as much as their canned counterparts, but the cooked dish will justify the additional expense.
Sauteeing garlic in butter and olive oil is a good base for a pasta sauce. Spanish-style sardines, pimiento, fresh onions, tomatoes, and bell pepper make this dish a great hit with its mixture of spicy-sweet-tangy flavor. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Add 2 tbsp. of butter and half of the chopped parsley. Toss to coat pasta well. Set aside and keep warm. Finely chop onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and pimiento.
In a saucepan, heat the remaining butter and olive oil. Saute garlic until golden brown. Add onions, tomatoes, bell pepper, and pimiento. When vegetables start to liquefy, add drained sardines, cutting them into small pieces while mixing them into the vegetables. Add tomato paste and fish stock or water. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a soft boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining parsley. Pour sauce over buttered spaghetti. Top with grated cheese. Serve with buttered toast.