Are you ready to heighten your dinner game and tantalise your taste buds with a burst of flavours? Look no further than this Pepperoncini Chicken and Courgette Pasta recipe. This delightful dish combines succulent chicken, vibrant courgettes and the zesty kick of pepperoncini to create a memorable dish.
What is Pepperoncini?
Pepperoncini, also known as Tuscan peppers or golden Greek peppers, are a type of mild chilli pepper originating from Southern Italy and Greece. These peppers are often enjoyed for their mild heat, sweet taste and distinctive flavour profile. Pepperoncini peppers are typically bright green or yellowish-green in colour and they are about 2 to 3 inches in length.
One of the defining characteristics of pepperoncini is its versatility. They can be used in various culinary applications, such as pickling, roasting or simply sliced and added to dishes. While they have a bit of a peppery kick, they are generally considered mild, measuring around 100 to 500 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), making them much milder than hotter chilli varieties like jalapeños or serranos.
In addition to their use in various recipes, pepperoncini peppers are often enjoyed as a condiment or topping. You might find them on pizzas, salads, sandwiches or antipasto platters, adding a tangy and mildly spicy element to the dish. Their slightly sweet and tangy flavour makes them a popular choice for those who enjoy a hint of heat without overwhelming spiciness.
In this Pepperoncini Chicken and Courgette Pasta recipe, the pepperoncini peppers play a crucial role in providing a zesty kick and enhancing the overall flavour profile of the dish. Their unique taste adds depth and excitement.
What Is The Difference Between Courgette Pasta and Wheat-Based Pasta?
The choice between courgette (zucchini) pasta and traditional wheat-based pasta depends on individual dietary preferences and health goals. Courgette pasta is lower in calories and carbohydrates, making it suitable for those looking to reduce their intake in low-carb or ketogenic diets, and it is gluten-free, catering to individuals with gluten sensitivity. Additionally, courgette pasta provides vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and its high water content contributes to hydration.
Traditional wheat pasta, while higher in calories and carbohydrates, is a good source of complex carbohydrates, energy, and dietary fibre, especially in whole wheat varieties. The decision between the two ultimately hinges on factors such as taste, texture, nutritional needs, and dietary restrictions, with individuals often choosing based on their unique health considerations. Consulting with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian is recommended for personalised advice.
Method for Pepperoncini Chicken and Courgette Pasta
1. Prepare the Pasta:
Start by boiling the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Set some pasta water to the side, drain the pasta and set aside for later.
2. Sauté the Chicken:
Firstly, start by heating 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the diced chicken to the pan. Season the chicken generously with salt, pepper and a teaspoon of dried oregano for an aromatic touch. Allow the chicken to cook undisturbed for a few minutes until a golden-brown crust forms. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking. Continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through, and the juices run clear. This step infuses the chicken with savoury flavours.
3. Add Courgettes and Garlic:
Introduce the thinly sliced courgettes to the pan, stirring them into the succulent chicken. The goal is to achieve a tender, slightly caramelised texture in the courgettes. As they cook, the courgettes absorb the delicious flavours released by the chicken. Once the courgettes are cooked to perfection, add the minced garlic to the mix. Stir the garlic in, allowing it to become fragrant and infuse the entire dish with its aromatic essence. Furthermore, this step not only adds depth to the dish but also creates a harmonious balance of flavours.
4. Incorporate Pepperoncini:
Now, it is time to introduce the star ingredient – pepperoncini peppers. Add the sliced peppers to the skillet, distributing them evenly throughout the dish. The pepperoncini not only brings a tangy and slightly spicy kick but also contributes a vibrant burst of colour. Adjust the quantity based on your spice tolerance and desired level of heat. The pepperoncini plays a crucial role in elevating the dish, turning it from ordinary to extraordinary. At this point, add your reserved pasta water to create a creamy sauce.
5. Combine Pasta and Toss:
Reunite the cooked pasta with the tasty chicken and vegetable medley in the pan. Toss the ingredients together, ensuring that the pasta is coated with the savoury juices and infused with the essence of the pepperoncini. The pasta serves as the perfect canvas to absorb the bold flavours, creating a satisfying dish. Continue tossing until every element is well distributed, promising a delicious bite.
6. Serve and Garnish:
With the Pepperoncini Chicken and Courgette Pasta now perfectly melded, plate the dish with care. As a finishing touch, generously sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the top. The cheese adds a creamy richness that complements the zesty kick of the pepperoncini. Complete the presentation by garnishing with chopped fresh parsley, infusing the dish with a burst of colour and a hint of herbaceous freshness. These final touches not only enhance the visual appeal but also elevate the overall dining experience.
7. Enjoy the Pepperoncini Chicken and Courgette Pasta:
Take a moment to appreciate the Pepperoncini Chicken and Courgette Pasta dish you have created. The tender chicken, al dente pasta, and the lively combination of courgettes and pepperoncini will tantalise your taste buds and leave you craving another bite.
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
8 ounces of your favourite pasta
2 medium-sized courgettes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pepperoncini peppers, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
If you feel inspired to be creative in the kitchen and cook more delicious recipes, check out Eat Derbyshire for more.