1400gcan of good quality finely chopped tomatoesMy favourite is Mutti but other brands are more easily available in supermarkets
salt to taste
¼ - ½chilli flakes
Rest of the Ingredients:
500gdried pasta such as penne
2tbspdouble cream or butterentirely optional but adds a little hint of richness to the pasta
a few leaves of fresh basil for garnish
freshly ground black pepper
Slice each chicken breast in half horizontally,transfer to a medium bowl, add the pesto and mix well. Set aside while you make the tomato sauce.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then add the chopped onion & garlic. Saute gently until the raw smell disappears, about 5 minutes. You don't want to let the onions brown.
Now add the tomato puree and fry for a couple of minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes, dried oregano, salt, sugar and chilli flakes. Bring to the boil and simmer until some of the water evaporates. Turn off the heat, cover and set aside until needed.
Char the pepper on an open flame (I use my gas hob) or under the grill until blackened in places. I like to leave the skin and the black bits on for added flavour but you can peel it if you like. Cut into strips.
Grill the chicken - I like to use a grill pan for this but if you're using the oven for the pepper, you might as well cook the chicken at the same time. Basically, we want it cooked through and charred in places. Cut into strips.
Boil the pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain the pasta into a colander while you assemble the dish. Add the pasta back into the pot with the chicken & pepper strips, the tomato sauce, the cream if using and mix well. Add some freshly ground black pepper and fresh basil.