sun dried tomato chicken pasta

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INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces ziti or other pasta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 lb. chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose seasoning mix for the chicken
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 7-ounce jar DeLallo sun dried tomatoes, drained
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups spinach

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and sprinkle with the seasoning and the cayenne. Saute until the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Drain the oil from the sun dried tomatoes. Chop into smaller pieces if you want. Add them to the pan with the garlic and saute for a few minutes, until fragrant. You will probably still get some of the oil from the sun dried tomatoes – that’s okay.
  4. Add the half and half, milk, chicken broth, and Mozzarella cheese. Stir until the sauce is smooth and bubbly and the cheese is melted. It should start to thicken up slightly.
  5. Stir in the cooked pasta and spinach – the spinach will start to cook down almost immediately. If needed, add extra water or broth or milk to the sauce to thin it out, or add more cheese to thicken slightly. Be sure to stir for a full 4-5 minutes to really thicken.

NOTES

I’ve also used DeLallo’s sun dried tomato bruschetta in this recipe as well as DeLallo’s jarred cherry tomatoes (similar to the sun dried tomatoes but a little more plump and round). After feedback regarding trouble getting the cheese to melt into the sauce, we’ve done another round of testing for this recipe. A few tips to follow: CHEESE: Be sure you’re using low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese (we used Kraft brand with a hint of cream cheese!). Do NOT used reduced fat varieties as they will not incorporate well. CREAM: You MUST use full fat half and half – reduced fat or milk will not do the job.

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