This is a great Springtime recipe that is bursting with flavor. The star of the show is definitely the sun-dried tomatoes and the creamy sauce is delightful.
Over the years I have developed a fondness for any recipe that includes sun-dried tomatoes. I never gave them much thought until they were included on a Tuscan pizza, I enjoyed one day and since then, I'm often looking for ways to add them. If you haven't tried them before, you are in for a treat.
There are a lot of ingredients going into this but that doesn't make it more complicated to make, it's very simple to put together. It certainly helps if you have most of the things on hand. Today's economy is the bigger hurdle. For that reason, you may want to gather the non-perishable items gradually, and then when you are ready to make it, you only have to spring for the meat and cheese.
8 oz penne pasta
1 cup mozzarella cheese - shredded
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 tablespoon basil
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves of garlic - minced
1 lb. chicken breast tenderloins - sliced
4 oz sun-dried tomatoes - drained
1/2 cup of reserved pasta water - cooked
Substitutions - You can substitute the heavy cream with 1 cup of half and half.
This recipe serves about 4 and takes shouldn't take longer than 40 minutes to create.
Let's make it happen
First, grab a large skillet and heat the olive oil on medium heat. Sauté the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes for one minute until the garlic is fragrant. Set the sun-dried tomatoes aside on a plate. Lightly sprinkle salt and paprika on the chicken and place it in the skillet. Cook on high for about 1 minute on each side then remove from the heat.
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. After it cooks, save 1/2 cup of the water and then drain the pasta.
Next, slice the sun-dried tomatoes into smaller pieces and add them and the chicken back into the skillet.
Now we will make a creamy pasta sauce by adding the cream (or half & half), and mozzarella cheese to the skillet and gently bring it to a boil.
As soon as it boils, quickly reduce the heat to a simmer and cook. Don't forget to stir. Keep stirring until all of the cheese is melted and a creamy sauce forms. Add the pasta, basil, and red pepper flakes, and stir it all together.
If your sauce is too thick, add in a little of the pasta water to thin it out. Only add a little at a time as you may not need to use all of it. Allow the dish to simmer for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and red pepper flakes to taste and serve.
Unfortunately, I only have one photo to go by and it was taken during cooking, not the finished dish. It's one of those cases where I got so caught up in cooking that I forgot to take pictures. I was intending to make this again before posting it but just haven't gotten around to it. I can always add some more pictures later when I revisit this recipe.
At any rate, it is very tasty and I hope you give it a try, you will love it. It goes great with a side salad and some garlic bread. Asparagus with garlic butter would be another excellent option for a side dish.
Have a blessed day and thanks for reading.