Paprika Chicken Carbonara

You will need: a chicken breast, a large handful or two of mushrooms, a small red onion or a couple of shallots, cheddar cheese, “mexican” cheddar cheese, spaghetti, margarine/butter, cornflour, milk, olive oil, paprika, chicken oxo cube or stock, salt and pepper for seasoning if required.


Put the kettle on, slice the chicken into strips and liberally dose with paprika before thinly slicing the mushrooms and onion/shallots. Finely grate about a fist-sized chunk of cheddar cheese onto a plate, and then add a thin layer of grated “mexican” cheddar on top to add some chilli heat.

Put the spaghetti into a pan with the boiling water and a dash of olive oil and put on a high heat, stirring occasionally.

Melt a good sized knob of butter/margarine in a pan and add a couple of shakes of cornflour, stirring to make the beginnings of a paste – add milk and keep stirring on a reasonably high heat but not so high that the mixture begins to boil.

Begin adding handfuls of the cheese and stirring while it melts to form your cheese sauce. Reduce to a medium heat and keep stirring until all the cheese has been added. Use milk to bring the sauce to your preferred consistency.

Meanwhile, check the spaghetti – it should be starting to loosen up – you’re cooking to your taste on this, but I prefer to make it al dente so there’s some contrast in textures. If the spaghetti is ready then drain it and allow to stand.

Meanwhile add some olive oil to a frying pan and add another pinch of paprika to the oil then fry the chicken on a high heat until its sealed and beginning to brown. Add a dash of water and the fine-chopped onion and after a minute add either your stock or crumble a chicken oxo/stock cube into the mix. Add the mushrooms and a little more water and stir it all in still on a high heat.

If you haven’t already drained your spaghetti it really needs to happen now.

Add the sauce to the frying pan and bring the mixture onto the medium heat, stirring it to evenly coat everything. Taste test and season if required.

Serve in a bowl – put a generous handful of spaghetti in the bowl then ladle on a couple of servings of the chicken and vegetables, being generous with the sauce.

Should serve two people with enough for a serving to freeze for later. To increase the numbers, add more chicken and spaghetti.

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