Chicken and Bacon Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes in Garlic Cream Sauce
Prep Time: 20
Total Time: 40
Serves: 4
From: Julia's Album
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Conversion Guide: 0.125 = ⅛, 0.25 = ¼, 0.33 = ⅓, 0.5 = ½, 0.75 = ¾
2.00 tbs Olive Oil
1.00 lbs Chicken Breast
1.00 tsp Paprika
1.00 tsp Italian seasoning (thyme, oregano, basil - combined)
5.00 Tomatoes
1.00 cup Cooked Spinach
5.00 Garlic Cloves
0.25 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
6.00 Bacon Strips
1.30 cups Half and Half
1.30 cups Parmesan Cheese
10.00 oz Penne Pasta
1. In a large skillet, on high heat, heat olive oil until hot. Add chicken and cook on one side on high heat for 1 minute. While it cooks, sprinkle the uncooked 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.
2. 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 (already cooked and drained of fat). Mix everything.
3. Add half and half and bring to boil. Only after half and half starts boiling, add grated Parmesan cheese - immediately reduce to simmer and stir, while simmering, until the cheese melts and makes the sauce creamy. Then, immediately remove from heat. Season with more crushed red pepper and salt, if needed.
4. In the mean time bring a large pot of water to boil, add pasta and cook it according to instructions. Drain the pasta, rinse with cold water and drain again.
5. Add pasta to the skillet with the sauce. Add remaining half of bacon (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.