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Rose Chicken Pasta Bake

Contributed by: News Canada

(NC) - Entrenched in many Quebec-based recipes, chili sauce is now gaining culinary credibility across the country.

In Quebec, chili sauce is traditionally used in combination with basic ingredients to add a robust flavor to comfort foods and local specialties such as meat pie and tourtière. According to research from Ipsos Reid, more than three in four Canadians who purchase chili sauce use it as an ingredient in a meal.

Rose Chicken Pasta Bake
"People often overlook chili sauce because they think it's hot and spicy," says Dana McCauley, food writer and author of Dana's Top Ten Table. "And yet, just a dash or two can turn any savoury recipe into a wonderful comfort-food because it's flavourful, not hot. The main ingredient in chili sauce is fresh vine-ripened cooked tomatoes, and then sweet peppers, garlic and aromatic spices are added."

"Comfort foods are a family favourite in fall," Ms. McCauley continued, "and since life can be so fast-paced, I recommend home cooks keep a bottle of chili sauce on hand. It's a great shortcut ingredient that can transform your cooking quickly and easily. The next time you cook your burgers, pasta, eggs, pizza - and even seafood, add a splash or two of chili sauce, or put it on the table as a condiment. Not only is it tasty and fresh, the ingredients are good for you."

Try a few of Dana's favourite chili sauce ideas:

  • Mix chili sauce into spaghetti sauce, meatloaf and casseroles to add a homemade touch.
  • Top your favourite steaks, meatballs, pork chops, chicken and even fish with chili sauce while cooking or use chili sauce as a savory finishing sauce.
  • Use it as a base for fondue and soups.
  • Stir in coriander, lime juice and jalapenos for a healthy hearty salsa.
  • Blend chili sauce with your favourite herbs and spices, sour cream and cream cheese for the ultimate veggie dip.
  • Combine chili sauce with lemon juice, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce to make a tangy seafood sauce.
  • Mix in sour cream or even mayonnaise to for a saucy spread.

Not only is chili sauce delicious, but it also contains all the goodness of tomatoes packed with C and B vitamins (including niacin and riboflavin) plus iron, phosphorus, and potassium. The humble tomato also delivers an important anti-oxidant, called lycopene, to its credits. More information and recipe ideas are available online at www.heinzitup.com.

Bring the appeal of your favourite, comforting restaurant-style pasta home. The creamy sauce contains calcium that helps to maintain strong bones. So enjoy the taste without the guilt.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) dried oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) milk
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) Heinz Chili Sauce
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) finely chopped, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 4 cups (1 L) fresh cheese tortellini
  • 2 cups (500 mL) each cooked cubed chicken breast and broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped red pepper
  • 2 cups (500 mL) Italian-blend shredded cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).

Melt the butter in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add the garlic, oregano, basil and thyme. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Sprinkle evenly with the flour; cook stirring for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk, chili sauce and sun dried tomatoes. Cook, stirring often, for about 8 minutes or until just slightly thickened. (The mixture may separate a little but will come together.)

Stir the tortellini, chicken, broccoli, red pepper and half of the cheese into the sauce. Transfer to a greased, 8-cup (2 L) casserole dish; cover tightly. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly.

Twists

For a drip-free oven, place the casserole on a foil-lined baking sheet before baking.

For a tasty herbal garnish, sprinkle the casserole with chopped fresh basil or parsley.

For a lower fat, higher fibre pasta alternative, use whole-wheat penne instead of tortellini.

Serving Size: Makes 6 Servings

Nutritional Information: Per Serving: 538 calories, 19g fat, 39g protein 52g carb, 3g fibre, 1224mg sodium. Excellent source of vitamin A, niacin, vitamin C and calcium.


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