The other night, I needed a quick-and-painless, easy dinner to feed my family. I’ve always been a fan of sun-dried tomatoes, but I wasn’t sure how they would go over with the kids. They tend to be picky when it comes to certain ingredients…especially when they’re new.
While I was cooking this meal, several members of the family came in and commented on how delicious dinner smelled (they don’t always say anything…). And when I served the meal? They didn’t just rave about it. They devoured it. I think everyone had seconds.
One note about left-overs: this recipe makes a huge amount of pasta, so for a smaller family I would highly recommend halving this recipe if you don’t like eating left-overs the next day. We were thrilled to eat this the second night – I just threw it all into a casserole dish and baked, covered, in a 325 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes. I sprinkled a little bit of extra cheese on top and uncovered for a few additional minutes.
I paired this pasta dish with a kale and raisin salad and some soft, fresh Italian bread.
Easy Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta
- 1 6.5 ounce jar sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
- 3-4 teaspoons garlic cloves, minced
- 2-3 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch slices
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- salt, to taste
- 1 pint half and half (can use reduced/low fat)
- 1½ - 2 cups mozzarella cheese
- 16 ounces penne or other tubular pasta
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh basil (use a little less for dried basil)
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Drain most of the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes, reserving 2-3 tablespoons for cooking. Add sun-dried tomatoes and garlic to a hot skillet and saute for about 1-2 minutes. Slice chicken breasts and sprinkle with paprika and salt. Remove sun-dried tomatoes from pan and cook chicken until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions. Drain
- Slice sun-dried tomatoes into thin strips and add back to the skillet with the chicken. Add half and half and cheese and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and stir until sauce until creamy and smooth.
- Add cooked pasta, basil, and red pepper flakes and stir. Add additional hot water or milk to sauce if it's too thick. Add salt and additional red pepper flakes to taste.
Note: this recipe was modified from one found on Julia’s Album (her food photos put mine to shame!).
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