One of my neighbors has started following us on Pinterest and the blog and shared some of the recipes she has found with us. By us, I mean my hubby and I because she knows that both of us have been pinning and cooking. Hubby likes the crock pot recipes – dinner ready at the end of a busy day! I look for recipes that are not only easy and tasty but will be appealing to our son. This one hit the nail on the head. If he could eat pasta every day he would be an extremely happy boy! He is branching out, but any dinner with pasta is a home run!
Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 small jar (3 to 4 oz.) sun dried tomatoes in oil
1 lb. chicken breast tenders
dash of paprika
1 cup half and half
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
8 oz penne pasta
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water, or more
salt to taste
Drain sun-dried tomatoes from oil, reserving 2 tablespoons of oil for sautéing. In a large pan, on high heat, saute garlic and sun-dried tomatoes (drained from oil) in the 2 tablespoons of reserved sun dried tomato oil for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant. Remove sun-dried tomatoes from the pan, leaving the oil, and add chicken tenders, salted and lightly covered in paprika (for color) and cook on high heat for 1 minute on each side. Remove from heat. Cook pasta according to directions. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
Slice tomatoes into smaller pieces and add them back to skillet with chicken. Add the half and half and cheese to skillet and bring to a slow boil. Reduce to simmer and cook, stirring constantly until cheese melts and creamy sauce forms. Add cooked pasta to skillet with the sauce and stir to combine. Add 1 tablespoon of basil, and at least 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. Add about 1/2cup of reserved pasta water as sauce may be too thick.This will make it creamier. Immediately season the pasta with salt and more red pepper flakes, to taste, if desired. Let simmer for a few minutes to combine flavors.