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
Recipe adapted from Julia's Album
- 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.