• December 18, 2014

Chicken pasta adds comfort, flavor to meal

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Posted: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 4:30 am

Craving comfort food this weekend, I turned to an old favorite: a cream-based, sun-dried tomato sauce with chicken over pasta.

When I’m feeling stressed out, the hearty pasta warms my soul and helps me focus on solving whatever problem plagues me.

The simple sauce in this recipe pairs the sweetness of sun-dried tomatoes and basil with protein-packed chicken.

I use frozen, pregrilled chicken strips in the recipe to save time. The sauce also pairs well with Italian sausage. Or you can enjoy it meat free, but use red wine instead of chicken broth. I’ll also vary the recipe by adding roasted bell pepper slices or artichoke hearts.

I prefer farfalle or ziti pasta because the smaller shapes are easier to eat, but the sauce is easily served with any pasta.

CREAMY SUN-DRIED TOMATO & CHICKEN PASTA

Serves: 5

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons bacon bits
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2/3 cup fat-free half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup diced chicken
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato puree
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 5 cups hot cooked whole wheat farfalle (bow tie) or ziti

In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat; add the onion, bacon bits, garlic, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the half-and-half, sun-dried tomatoes, chicken broth, chicken, tomato puree and basil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat.

While the sauce is cooking, prepare the pasta according package directions, omitting the salt.

Toss the sauce with the cooked pasta and serve.

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