November 1st. There is something about that date that I find positively intimidating. It is a little silly I know, but somewhere over the course of the next few weeks is my older ones birthday party, my younger ones birthday party, a possible trip out of town, the usual pre Christmas madness, and Christmas itself. While we don’t celebrate Christmas per se, Santa does come to our house with something for the girls. Why you may ask. Well, because this Mama is all about any kind of magic.
I grew up reading this Enid Blyton series called the Wishing Tree in which these two children would visit the extraordinary inhabitants of the Enchanted Tree and explore the lands that came to visit the tree. Even then I was too old to believe in this notion, but it was such fun to play what if. I want my kids to have that – that life full of what ifs and possibilities, a half belief in a world where magic is around the corner, where a kindly figure magically appears and leaves them a special present.
Now I know that this sounds like it has nothing to do with 30 Minute Fajita Pasta, but it kinda does.
For Mama to get through all this magic making she needs a few comfort food days, comfort food in a hurry days to be precise. I need to be able to sit on a comfy couch and eat food that tastes like a spicy warm hug. While daal is my usual comfort food go to (and probably slightly healthier than pasta) every now and then I want to eat a pasta for grown ups. Something with lots of veg and a serious kick. That’s where this 30 Minute Chicken Fajita Pasta comes in. It is what I ate before braving a chilly evening trick or treating. It will get me through the chilly days where we are running from one super fun activity to the next.
The ingredients are straightforward and intentionally so. While I could certainly add to this list to build a more complex fajita seasoning I have kept the spices down to 4 – salt, chilli powder/ cayenne, cumin powder, pepper. You are welcome to substitute your favourite fajita seasoning store-bought or otherwise, I am not the judgy sort. This 30 Minute Fajita Pasta recipe doubles easily, but I have kept it to half a box of spaghetti which is great for 4 servings with a salad. Apparently I should keep eating that stuff even when it’s cold outside. Pffft.
In the interest of keeping things somewhat healthy in this 30 Minute Fajita Pasta I skipped cream, instead creating a light sauce with flour and stock. For a vegetarian version simply sub veg stock for the chicken and skip the chicken pieces. Adding more veggies is always a great idea. To appease the indulgent side of me I make a quick crema with sour cream and lime juice and lightly drizzle over top. You could certainly put more of it or mix it right in. The crunchy tortilla strips on top are my favourite bit and I scatter these over right before serving. If you wanted to top the pasta with cheese you definitely could.
- One Red Pepper
- One Green Pepper
- 1/2 Onion
- 1-2 Jalapenos
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 lb Chicken
- 1/2 lb Spaghetti
- 1 + 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 + 1/3 tsp red chilli powder
- 3/4 + 1/3 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 + 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup chicken broth (can use veg)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 1/2 tbsp lime juice (1-2 limes)
- 2 tbsp cilantro
- salt (to taste)
- Quartered Limes
- Seasoned Chilli Lime Tortilla Strips from the Salad Aisle (or make your own)
- Minced Cilantro
Set a pot of generously salted water to boil
Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and coat with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/3 tsp red chilli powder, 1/3 tsp cumin powder and 1/4 tsp pepper. Set aside.
Cut both peppers, the jalapenos, and the half an onion into thin long slices.
Mince the garlic
Turn your exhaust on high. Heat a lug of oil in a 10-12 inch saucepan or pot till smoking hot and add the peppers, onion, jalapenos.
Let char slightly 3 minutes or so and add the remaining spices + minced garlic.
If the water is boiling then add your spaghetti, cook till done and drain remembering to reserve half a cup of pasta water.
Cook the peppers till somewhat softened but tender crisp then pull out of the pan with a slotted spoon
Add the marinated chicken to the pan and cook on medium, 2-3 minutes on each side, till done
Sprinkle the flour over the chicken and saute for a minute
Add the chicken broth, stir well, then add the peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Put drained spaghetti into the pot with the peppers and chicken, mix well and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and lime juice.
Use reserved pasta water to adjust consistency of sauce (if needed)
Blend half the sour cream, the cilantro and lime juice together. Stir in the remaining sour cream (this will keep the sauce thicker) mixing until smooth and adjust seasoning with salt.
Serve the pasta hot, drizzled with the crema with leafy cilantro and crunchy tortilla strips scattered over top