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Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken and Creamy Mozzarella Sauce

Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken and Creamy Mozzarella Sauce


Ingredients


  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 4 oz sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken breast tenderloins , sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup half and half (or use 1/2 cup heavy cream + 1/2 cup milk)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese , shredded (do not use fresh Mozzarella, use pre-shredded Mozzarella)
  • 8 oz penne pasta (for gluten free, use gluten free brown rice pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water or more
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt to taste



Instructions


  • In a large skillet, sauté garlic and sun-dried tomatoes (drained from oil) in 2 tablespoons of olive oil (reserved from the sun-dried tomatoes jar) for 1 minute on medium heat until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Remove the sun-dried tomatoes from the skillet, leaving the olive oil.  
  • add sliced chicken (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 package instructions.    Reserve some cooked pasta water. Drain the pasta.
  • Slice sun-dried tomatoes into smaller pieces and add them back to the skillet with chicken. 
  • To make creamy pasta sauce, add half-and-half (see substitution for half-and-half in the Recipe Notes section below) and Mozzarella cheese to the skillet, and bring to a gentle boil.
  • Immediately reduce to simmer and cook, constantly stirring, until all cheese melts and creamy sauce forms.
  • add cooked and drained pasta to the skillet with the cream sauce, and stir to combine.
  • add 1 tablespoon of basil, and at least 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
  • If the creamy sauce is too thick: add about 1/2 cup of reserved cooked pasta water to the skillet to thin it out.   Do not add all of pasta water at once - you might need less or more of it. 
  • Season the chicken pasta with salt and more red pepper flakes, to taste, if needed. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes for flavors to combine.
  • Note: Make sure to salt the dish just enough to bring out of the flavors of basil and sun-dried tomatoes. 

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