This was one of those meals that was the surprising and delicious result of cobbling together what was available in the fridge and cupboards. It smelled truly wonderful while it was simmering away. Great for a cold, wintry night. The husband unit was well impressed, and ate the leftovers for seconds. That always makes me happy.

This serves 2, with enough leftover for 1 lunch…or for seconds.

200g approx fusilli…or really as much pasta as you’d like
300g chicken breast, diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
100g mushrooms, sliced
Half a cup/quarter pint of strong beef stock
100ml cream
1 tablespoon mascarpone (or any cream cheese of your choice)
2 tablespoons of tawny port
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A little butter and olive oil for cooking

1. In a large wok or saucepan, heat a knob of butter and a drop of olive oil and gently cook your sliced mushrooms and crushed garlic. Set aside.

2. In the same pan, splash in a little olive oil and add your diced chicken. Brown lightly.

3. Add the stock, cream and port and allow to simmer for five minutes or so. Add the mascarpone and stir through. Now you can add back in the mushrooms and garlic. Season, taste and adjust if necessary. Leave the sauce to simmer on a low heat while the pasta cooks.

4. Pop the fusilli on to boil. When tender, drain well, and toss well with the sauce. Serve in warm bowls to huge rounds of applause.