Things you know about me: I love cocktails, I really really want to try Breakfast in Bread and I have a younger bro’ who lives in New Jersey (jammy sod). Things you may not know about me: I have a degree in Film Studies and Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice is quite possibly my favourite Halloween movie of all time.
This year I thought, lets chuck two of my favourite things into my witches cauldron and see what I can conjure and here we have it – my Green Pesto Chicken with Zebra Spaghetti, Roasted Beets and Goats Cheese, inspired by Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice himself.
I’m not a fan of genuinely ‘scary films’. I mean, life is terrifying enough as it is these days so when October rolls around, you’ll find me reaching for pretty much anything with Winona Ryder in it. If you’re like me, you’ll be blowing the cobwebs off your copy of Beetlejuice right about now too, 110% ready to see Michael Keaton hopping around your screen in that iconic humbug-striped two-piece, green hair and purple eye sockets to boot.
Okay so I can’t claim to have made this insane, pinstripe pasta myself (even if I have been to a pasta masterclass) but if you fancy recreating the dish, here’s what you’re going to need:
- Cooking oil – I used Fry Light Coconut Spray oil
- Olive Oil
- Salt & pepper for seasoning
- A generous tablespoon of green pesto (I used Tesco Free From Pesto)
- 2 chicken breasts (diced)
- 3 great big hands of baby spinach (washed & dried)
- Enough Zebra Spaghetti/pasta for two hungry vampires (I got mine here)
- 3 beetroot
- Enough goats cheese for crumbling
The method in the madness:
First, you need to roast your beets…
- Preheat your oven to 220°c (gas mark 7)
- Coat each beetroot in some olive oil and wrap in non-stick foil.
- Place them on a cooking tray and roast for 30-50 minutes (until tender)
While your beets are roasting…
- Dice your chicken if you need to at this point.
- Start bringing a large pan of salted water to boil.
- Spray a shallow frying pan with Fry Light and heat on medium-high heat.
- Chuck in your chicken chunks (try saying that fast) and season with salt & pepper.
- Once your pasta water is boiling, drizzle in a teaspoon of Olive Oil (to stop stick-age).
- Pop your black and white pasta into the boiling water and lower the heat slightly.
- Cook pasta for 7 minutes (al dente) or 10 minutes (soft to the bite).
- Keep tossing your chicken as you go.
- Once the chicken is nearly cooked through, dollop in your green pesto and your spinach.
- Toss in the pan until everything is coated in pesto and spinach is wilted.
- Remove chicken/spinach/pesto concoction from the heat.
- Remove your baked beets from the oven and set aside while you drain your pasta.
To serve up:
- Create a spooky nest of black and white noodles with your spaghetti.
- Spoon your hot mess of green pesto goodness right into the middle.
- Peel and chop your beets into bitesize chunks and dot around as shown above.
- Crumble some goats cheese about the place for good measure (and depth of taste, duh).
…and that’s all there is to it!
Fairly quick, super simple, hella tasty and it looks bloody awesome if I do say so myself. If you fancy giving this dish a go when you host your Monster Mash Halloween shindig later this month (or if you’re a fully-fledged spook all year round), don’t forget to share your snaps with me on Instagram and Twitter!
If you fancy a less… colourful, more… normal alternative to this dish – be my guest.