Here is one of our family favourite pasta dishes that is made with a creamy lemon-butter sauce, bacon, juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh mushrooms and served with a simple chicken scallopini. The thyme plant in our garden is starting to come back to life again (I really need to remember to water the plants!), and I managed to pick out a few sprigs for this recipe. All the other ingredients are pretty basic, and what I would normally have in my fridge or pantry (except for the cherry tomatoes which I happened to pick up on sale).
No fancy ingredients in this pasta! We also like it with farfalle (bow-tie pasta) and penne. Here is the recipe:
Creamy Lemon Butter Spaghettini with Chicken Scallopini
1 piece chicken breast fillet, escalloped and flattened out with a meat mallet
Salt and black pepper for seasoning
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
125g bacon rashers, diced
1 tbsp thyme leaves (or substitute with 1/2 tsp dried Italian herbs)
1 stalk scallion, chopped (optional)
6 button mushrooms, sliced
10 cherry tomatoes
1 cup cream
4 tbsp butter
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper
Season the chicken escallopes with salt and pepper. Heat up some olive oil in a large pan and fry the chicken on both sides until slightly browned and cooked. Transfer onto a plate and set aside.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to boil to cook the pasta in.
Using the same pan above, fry the onions and garlic for 1 minute, then add the bacon and fry for 2-3 minutes. At this point, you can start cooking your pasta (depending on how long the pasta takes to cook). Then, add the thyme, scallions and mushrooms to the pan, and fry until the mushroom starts to release their juices. Toss in the tomatoes, followed by the cream, butter and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat.
When the pasta is cooked, use a pair of tongs to transfer the pasta into the pan and toss it in the creamy sauce to coat well. To this, add about 1/3 cup of the water that was used to cook the pasta. This helps to loosen up the pasta and also thin out the sauce a little. Add the chicken scallopini to the pan and toss lightly just to warm it up. You can turn on the heat again if it's not hot enough, or add more of that pasta water if you prefer it more saucy. Then just dish out the pasta onto some serving plates, top with the chicken scallopini and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. Serve immediately!