But then I made this for dinner this week and it was so quick and easy (how can you not love a dish that you make in one pot and then SERVE it in that pot) and everyone had second helpings and I thought, “Why in the world am I not making pasta more often?”
And I have no good answers.
But I have some excellent leftovers to eat for lunch while I ponder that question.
Creamy Chicken and Fire-Roasted Tomato Pasta
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
12 ounces penne pasta (I used the Barilla Pronto because you can cook it right in the pan with everything else, but you can use any variety)
3 cups water (omit if you’re using regular penne)
1 can (14.5 oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 1/3 cup half-and-half
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
Extra mozzarella and fresh basil (optional) for topping
- In a deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken slices and sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Cook until just browned on the bottom. Flip the chicken over.
- (If you’re using standard penne pasta, go ahead and cook it until just barely done in a separate pot, drain, and then add it to the chicken with the fire-roasted tomatoes and proceed to step 4).
- Add the Barilla Pronto pasta, 3 cups of water, and the can of fire-roasted tomatoes (don’t drain). Turn the heat to high and let cook for ten minutes, stirring frequently to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom.
- Reduce the heat to medium, and stir in the half-and-half and mozzarella and stir until melted and smooth. Let it simmer for a few minutes, salt and pepper to taste, and add the basil.
- Top with extra mozzarella and fresh basil and serve hot.
Recipe adapted from Julia’s Album