Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
This recipe for chicken mozzarella pasta with sun-dried tomatoes is a creamy, cheesy, delicious pasta dish chock full of fresh flavors of basil and tomatoes.
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (3 to 4 ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
- 2 tablespoons reserved oil from sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 pound chicken breast tenders
- A little paprika
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 8 ounces penne pasta (for gluten free, use Tinkyada gluten free brown rice pasta)
- Fresh basil
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- Salt, to taste
Cooking time 60mins
Adapted from juliasalbum.com
In a large pan, on high heat, sauté garlic and sun-dried tomatoes in reserved 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 package instructions. Reserve some cooked pasta water. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water to stop cooking.
Slice sun-dried tomatoes into smaller bits and add them back to the skillet with chicken. Add half-and-half and 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. If the sauce is too thick—don't worry—you'll be adding some cooked pasta water soon. Add cooked pasta to the skillet with the creamy 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 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water because the creamy sauce will be too thick (do not add all water at once - you might need less or more of it). This will water down the thickness of the cheese sauce and make it creamier. Immediately, season the 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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