- Combine spices and seasonings: Combine all the spices in a small bowl. Cover with cling wrap and set aside.
- Chop the fresh ingredients: Chop the garlic, red chilies, onion, black olives, the fresh basil leaves and the mint leaves as indicated in the ‘Ingredients’ section.
For the Spicy Chicken Penne Pasta:
- Cook the pasta: Cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions in a large pot of salted water. Once cooked, drain and set aside.
- Sauté onion and aromatics: Heat olive oil, chili oil (if using), and unsalted butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant – about one minute. Add the red chilies and sauté for another minute.
- Cook the ground chicken: Add the ground chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes, breaking the lumps with your spatula/wooden spoon as you go, until cooked through.
- Build the sauce: Pour in the canned chopped tomatoes and the cooking cream, mix to combine. Then add all the spices and seasonings in the small bowl you made earlier, as well as the sliced olives. Stir until combined and let cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the fresh herbs: Stir in the chopped fresh basil and mint leaves. Then, turn down the heat to medium and let simmer (uncovered) for 5-8 minutes or until the sauce and meat mixture has thickened slightly.
- Add the pasta: Add the penne pasta to the pan and stir and toss to combine with everything, about 3-4 minutes. Turn off the stove and remove from heat.
- To Serve: Transfer to a serving dish and top with the freshly grated Parmigiano Regianno Cheese. Serve with extra cheese and additional crushed red pepper flakes on the side if desired (optional).