Monday, January 18, 2010

Chicken and Pasta in Tomato-Cream Sauce

This recipe is extremely easy to adapt into something completely different, to suit your fancy. Add in veggies- I've made it with asparagus and spinach (just didn't have any on hand tonight). Throw in whatever herbs you have, use whatever kind of tomatoes you have. Use this as a starting point and go crazy.

If you're using asparagus, add it into the pasta water and cook it along with the pasta for about 4 minutes. If you're using spinach, toss it in at the last minute and let it wilt just slightly.

Tonight I found myself with crushed tomatoes, no cream, only cream cheese. It worked out deliciously. Another bonus? This can be made ahead and kept separate until you're ready to throw it together and reheat it slowly. Very handy if you find yourself in that crazy "witching hour" that haunts my house every.single.night.

Chicken and Pasta in Tomato-Cream Sauce

1 box small pasta (penne, farfalle, rotini, etc.)
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced lengthwise into strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbs olive oil
14 oz can diced tomatoes- with their juice
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. Set aside. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbs olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and cook, in batches if necessary, until browned on both sides and cooked through, about 10 minutes total. Remove chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm. In same pan, heat up 1 tbs olive oil and cook garlic until fragrant, about a minute. Add tomatoes and cook until reduced slightly, about 4-5 minutes. Add cream and thicken 2-3 minutes more. Add chicken back to pan to warm through. Add pasta, crushed red pepper, and cheese and toss to coat. Add reserved pasta water as needed if sauce is too thick. Serve with more parmesan cheese, if desired.

1 comment:

  1. I make a really similar sauce. It's my go-to. Any vegetable in the fridge goes in it and it always tastes good.

    And that terrible hour that every house has... it was quite terrible tonight. I don't know how much more I can handle Van getting into the dog food. But gosh darn it, he is so cute with his giant smile and dimple and that saves him from his death all the time.