Chicken & Bacon Pasta with Spinach & Tomatoes in Garlic Cream Sauce
Chicken and bacon pasta with spinach and tomatoes in a garlic cream sauce is a straightforward dinner to make. Brown the chicken, saute the veggies, mix in the cream and cooked pasta, and dinner is prepared! Tastes delicious, but easy one pan meal.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound chicken breast, or tenders
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (thyme, oregano, basil – combined)
- 5 medium tomatoes, chopped in large cubes
- 1 cup cooked spinach
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
- 6 bacon strips, cooked and chopped
- 1 1/3 cups half and half
- 1 1/3 cups Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 10 ounces undercooked penne pasta
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, for serving
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 40mins
Adapted from juliasalbum.com
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil until hot, in a large skillet . Add chicken and cook on one side on high heat for 1 minute. While it cooks, sprinkle the undercooked sides of the chicken with paprika and Italian seasoning. Flip the chicken over, and cook on the other side for 1 minute on high heat. Reduce heat to medium, flip chicken over again and cook, covered, for several minutes until no longer pink in the center. Remove chicken from the pan and keep chicken warm.
To the same pan (but without chicken), add chopped tomatoes, spinach, garlic, crushed red pepper, 1/3 of the chicken (sliced into small strips) and half the bacon (it should be already cooked and drained of fat). Stir until well mixed.
Add half and half and bring to boil, add grated Parmesan cheese:
Reduce to simmer and stir, until the cheese melts and the sauce is creamy, only about 1 minute (at most 2 minutes). Remove from heat. Season with more crushed red pepper and salt, if needed.
In the mean time, cook pasta according to package instructions. Add cooked pasta to the skillet with the sauce. Add remaining half of baon (already cooked and drained of fat). Season with more salt if necessary. Slice the remaining 2/3 of chicken into thin strips. To serve, top the pasta with chicken strips and grated Parmesan cheese.