Chicken cacciatore with spelt pasta


This is our new family favourite, midweek pasta meal.  If you don't want pasta it is just as good over zucchini noodles.  For a warm lunch the next day I like to put in a tin of drained cannellini beans to the sauce mixture to increase the fibre content and make enough for left overs.  Depending on how much energy I have at dinner time I either serve with a big salad or stir a large handful of spinach leaves through the sauce at the end.  I get four types of veggies into this dish, plus chicken thigh fillets which are a good source of iron.

Chicken cacciatore with spelt pasta


  • 1 tab olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and squashed with the base of your knife
  • 50g pancetta cubes
  • sprig of rosemary
  • 4 skinless and boneless chicken thighs, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 2 red peppers or capsicums, sliced into strips
  • 200g sliced mushrooms, I like swiss browns
  • 12 kalamata olives, seeded
  • 60ml dry white wine
  • 400ml passata or a tin of chopped italian tomatoes
  • 300 g (dry weight) spelt or wholemeal pasta or cooked brown rice or zucchini noodles to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a frypan over a medium high heat, add in the squashed garlic and rosemary sprig. Fry the pancetta , garlic and chopped rosemary for a couple of minutes
  2. Add in the chicken pieces and stir well, and brown for about 4 minutes
  3. Add in the anchovies, peppers, mushrooms and olives and continue to cook for another few minutes
  4. Add the wine and passata and continue to cook for about 10 minutes (I usually cook the pasta at this point). Don't forget to remove the garlic cloves and rosemary before serving.
  5. Either stir through a big handful of spinach to serve or serve with a big green salad. I sometimes add a tin of cannellini beans to allow leftovers for lunch the next day.

Serves 4

Rachel is a university qualified Clinical Nutritionist based in Balmain.  She is also the busy working mum of two teenagers, so is practical and realistic with her advice . Rachel offers private consultations to improve your family's health and well-being. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram for more healthy tips and tricks.