Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Penne with Chicken
I’m always on the hunt for good dinner ideas, how about you? I hate when we get in a rut and end up eating the same thing over and over again. So I’ve made it a goal to try 3 new meals a week and incorporate a few favorites in between. This creamy sun-dried tomato penne was a hit, we devoured it as fast as we could. And our little one loved it too!
This pasta is so simple and delicious. It’s all prepared in one pot which is always a huge bonus for me, because I always dread dinner cleanup. You start by cooking the penne, draining it, rinsing it with cold water and setting it aside. Since I used oil-free tomatoes, I added some olive oil to the pot and sautéd the garlic and chopped sun-dried tomatoes until they’re became fragrant. If you use oil-packed tomatoes just spoon out the appropriate amount of oil from the jar, it’ll make the pasta taste extra flavorful. Once you’ve cooked those, set them aside in a small bowl and add a touch more oil and the chicken to the pot. Make sure you turn your heat up so that you get some nice browning action going on. Season the chicken and then once it’s cooked add the half & half and tomato sauce.
Bring the mixture to a low boil and then add the mozzarella and parmesan cheese, stir to comibine. You should have a nice cream base. When everything is nice and smooth, add back in the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and pasta. Coat the pasta evenly and remove from the heat. As the pasta sits for a minute the sauce will begin to thicken. Most of my sauce sat at the bottom of my Dutch oven, but I was able to get it to coat the pasta after cooling for about 5 minutes. It may look a little dry, but I promise it’s definitely not!
Garnish the pasta with extra parmesan, red pepper flakes and some freshly julienned basil. Dig in and enjoy :) Seriously though, we all really fell in love with the flavors going on in this dish. It’s so incredibly simple but everything works so well! And the leftovers… amazing!
- 12 oz. penne (whole wheat or regular)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ c. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped*
- 1 lb chicken breast, chopped into chunks
- ¼ tsp. paprika
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1½ c. half & half
- ⅓ c. tomato sauce
- 1 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ¼ c. parmesan cheese, grated
- Basil for garnish
- In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, boil water and cook the pasta. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside in a bowl.
- Add 1½ tbsp. of olive oil to the same pan that you cooked the pasta in. Over low heat, cook the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes until fragrant, remove from the pan, set aside in a small bowl. Add the remaining oil and turn the heat to medium. Season (with spices listed) and cook the chicken throughout.
- Add the half & half and tomato sauce to the pot. Bring the mixture to a low simmer. Add the mozzarella and parmesan and stir until smooth, then return the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and pasta to the pot. Coat the pasta evenly and serve immediately. Garnish with basil.
Recipe source: slightly adapted from Julia's Album