Chicken puttanesca with linguine

This simple, hearty pasta dish is a great way to welcome the family home after a hard day at work.

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  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

  2. Place each chicken thigh skin-side down on a chopping board and sprinkle each with a little Italian seasoning and salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

  3. Using cooking string, carefully fold over the edges of each thigh into the centre, then tie tightly to create neat round parcels (the skin should be on the outside).

  4. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium to high heat. Add the chicken parcels, in batches if necessary, and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until browned all over. Transfer the chicken parcels to an ovenproof dish and set aside.

  5. Add a further two tablespoons of olive oil to the same frying pan. Add the onion and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until softened.

  6. Add the cherry tomatoes, anchovy fillets, garlic and chilli flakes and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring well. Pour the mixture over the chicken parcels, drizzle over a little more olive oil, then bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until the chicken has cooked through and the sauce has thickened.

  7. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the linguine according to the packet instructions. Drain well, return to the pan and toss with a dash of olive oil.

  8. When the chicken puttanesca has cooked, carefully remove the chicken parcels from the sauce and discard the string. Stir the capers and basil leaves into the sauce and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  9. To serve, place a twist of linguine into the centre of each plate. Place two chicken thighs on top of each mound of pasta and spoon over the puttanesca sauce. Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh basil.

Recipe Tips

Serve with a green salad.