Weeknight Shorts: All Alone
Quick, easy meals are a blessing during the holiday season. Whether you are planning parties, going gift shopping, or making baked goods, there always seems to be at least four things you need to do at any given moment. Oh yeah - you should probably eat, too. That's where our simple Tuscan Chicken Pasta comes in:
This dish uses just one boneless, skinless chicken breast (and who hasn't been in that boat?) to assemble a pasta meal that will serve up to a half dozen people in about 20 minutes. Add to that the fact that it's packed with fire-roasted tomatoes and fresh spinach and you'll be finding ways to work this recipe into your regular rotation!
I like pairing this dish with a loaf of crusty French bread (for sopping up the sauce) and a simple green salad. After all, we've got plenty of opportunities for fancy meals this month, but there's something simply wonderful about taking a single chicken breast and making an entire meal without having to fuss.
- 16 oz. pasta - choose your favorite variety
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small pieces
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 c. spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 c. heavy cream
- 2 T. grated parmesan
- Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook according to package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
Add the chicken to the pan and season with and pepper. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until cooked through. Add the tomatoes and spinach and cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until heated through.
Drain the pasta, reserving ¼ cup of cooking water and return pasta to the pot it cooked in. Turn the heat on medium high and add the cream along with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until sauce has started to thicken. Add pasta water if needed to thin the sauce.
Toss the chicken and vegetable mixture in with the pasta and sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.
- Yields: 4-6 servings
- Preparation Time: 20 minutes