Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken and Mozzarella Recipe

 

Experience the essence of Italian cuisine with this Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken and Mozzarella recipe. Combining savory sun-dried tomatoes, tender chicken, and creamy mozzarella, this dish is a feast for the senses.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Effortlessly Delicious: Simple, straightforward steps paired with common ingredients make this dish a breeze to prepare.
  • Rich in Flavor: The sun-dried tomatoes and herbs bring a deep, Mediterranean taste that’s both comforting and indulgent.
  • Versatile and Adaptable: Easily modify the recipe for gluten-free options or add your favorite vegetables for a personal touch.

Ingredients

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 oz sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken breast tenderloins, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup half-and-half (or ½ cup heavy cream + ½ cup milk)
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz penne pasta (for gluten-free, use brown rice pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup reserved cooked pasta water (or more, as needed)
  • Additional salt, to taste

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, sauté minced garlic and sun-dried tomatoes (drained from oil) in 2 tablespoons of olive oil (reserved from the sun-dried tomato jar) for 1 minute over medium heat until the garlic is fragrant.
  2. Remove the sun-dried tomatoes from the skillet, leaving the flavorful olive oil in the pan.
  3. Add sliced chicken, seasoned with salt and lightly dusted with paprika for a pop of color. Cook on high heat for 1 minute on each side. Then remove from heat.
  4. Cook the penne pasta according to package instructions. Reserve some cooked pasta water. Drain the pasta.
  5. Slice the sun-dried tomatoes into smaller pieces and add them back to the skillet with the cooked chicken.
  6. To make a creamy pasta sauce, add half-and-half (or a mixture of heavy cream and milk) and shredded Mozzarella cheese to the skillet. Bring it to a gentle boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer. Stir constantly until all the cheese melts, forming a creamy sauce.
  7. Add the cooked and drained pasta to the skillet with the cream sauce, stirring to combine.
  8. Sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of basil and at least 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Stir everything together to enhance the flavors.
  9. If the creamy sauce is too thick, gradually add about 1/2 cup of reserved cooked pasta water to the skillet to achieve your desired consistency. Add it little by little, as you might need more or less.

Cooking Tips

  • Pasta Water is Key: Keep some pasta water to thin the sauce if necessary.
  • Spice to Your Liking: Adjust red pepper flakes for your preferred spice level.
  • Serve Fresh: For the best taste and texture, serve the dish hot.

Quiz: Test Your Pasta Knowledge!

  1. What ingredient in this recipe gives the dish its unique tangy flavor? A. Basil B. Sun-Dried Tomatoes C. Red Pepper Flakes
  2. Which type of pasta is recommended for a gluten-free version of this dish? A. Whole wheat pasta B. Brown rice pasta C. Spaghetti
  3. What is the purpose of reserving pasta water? A. To boil the chicken B. To adjust the sauce’s consistency C. For cleaning the pot
  4. Which cheese adds creaminess to this dish? A. Parmesan B. Mozzarella C. Cheddar

Conclusion

Delight in every bite of this Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken and Mozzarella, a true testament to the simplicity and richness of Italian cooking. Perfect for any dining occasion, this recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Share it with your loved ones and enjoy the flavors of Italy in your own home. Buon appetito!

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