I love Pollo ad Astra pizza, a blend of spicy peppers, smokey Cajun chicken and crispy onion; it has it all! The only problem is my pizza oven has currently caused large parts of the world to become deforested, so I’m having to find an alternative to pizza. Pasta to the rescue!!!!
This blog is simply dedicated to making a delicious meal, perfect with a glass of wine and good company. No gimmicks, no cute Brunettes, just good honest food.
Olive Bread Sticks
OK, seeing as the bread sticks take apporx 2hrs, start with these. They are lovely to have warm with a glass of Pinot, but equally at home mopping up pasta sauce. This recipe will make approx 8 chunky ones or 12 smaller versions. You can freeze them and rewarm as well.
- 8oz strong bread flour
- 8oz Rye flour
- Olives and olive oil
Start by combining the flours, a 50:50 mix gives a nice light bread but with a nutty undertone. If you want a denser bread, use a higher percentage of rye flour. To this, add the salt, oil and yeast. I’m using my Kenwood currently as my Kitchenaid is resting (please can I have a sponsorship deal?)
To the flour etc. add water and a generous handful of olives. If you don’t like olives, don’t call me unless you are super cute. Being serious though, you can replace it with cheese, sundried tomatoes, peppers, onion etc. Knead for 5mins until a smooth, elastic dough has been made. Now leave it to proof for about an hour……………
After an hour, the dough should have proofed and spring back when lightly pressed with a thumb. Gentle turn this out onto a floured board and tease into a rectangle. Divide the dough into 8. Gentlyroll each dough stick into a long breadstick.
Proof for another hour on a semolina covered baking tray. OK, this time you are going to have to find your own entertainment. If you went for a run, might I suggest an ice bath?
Now cook in a hot oven (approx 200) for 15-20mins till delicious and golden brown.
Pollo Ad Astra Linguine
The base of pollo ad astra is the cajun spiced chicken. I must admit, this has a special place in my heart as it goes back to the first date I went on with my girlfriend, Zena.
- 1 Red Onion
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 2 Chicken breasts
- Tomato sauce (see my first blog post)
- Roquito Peppers
- Spices (Chilli powder, onion salt, celery salt, sage, oregano, thyme, paprika, Black pepper)
Start by making the cajun spice to season the chicken. This is a relatively simple process, combine a tea spoon of the above spices in a pestle and motor and release all your anger from the day.
Massage the cajun seasoning into the chicken and leave to marinade. The longer the better but 30mins will be enough if you, or your company, are getting hungry. Once seasoned, transfer to an oiled tray and cook at 190 for 25mins.
OK, so nearly done. Start cooking the linguine in boiling water as per the makers instructions. I’m using dry pasta but you can use fresh or even homemade (future post). While the pasta cooks, usually 15mins, prep the onion, peppers, garlic and olives by cutting into fine stirps.
When the pasta is al-dente, drain and return to the pan. Add a generous spoon of nduja, tomato sauce and the chopped onion etc, keeping some back for serving. Adding the sauce to the warm pasta and reheating allows the linguine to suck up all the goodness.
Your last job is to tear the cooked chicken into warm chunks.
Time to eat.
Serve the pasta by topping with some torn chicken, olives, peppers and a bit of goats cheese. Oh and dont forget the olive sticks. I would advise a crisp Chablis to go with it and some candle light. Thanks Emma Bridgewater for mine x……….
Its time to eat and you deserve it. Congratulations.
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