Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta:
I realize this is an unusual method for making sun dried tomato pasta, but stay with me – it works, it’s extremely simple, and there’s a method to my madness. And it’s delicious! I’ve previously prepared sun dried tomato pasta by just putting chopped up chunks of sun dried tomato into a cream-based sauce. Don’t get me wrong: she’s still gorgeous! But, rather than simply getting small bursts of flavor, I wanted to attempt to maximize the strength of the sun dried tomato flavor throughout the sauce. So I whipped up a sauce in the blender. When you remove the lid from the blender, you’re struck with a whiff of sun-dried tomato scent, and you know this pasta is going to be delicious!
The History Of Sun-Dried Tomatoes:
Sun-dried tomatoes are often used in Italian cooking. Originally, Italians dried tomatoes on their porcelain roofs. It is also believed that the practice dates back to 700 AD, when Aztecs would salt and dry tomatoes in the sun to retain their freshness (source). We are appreciative to whoever came up with the wonderful concept!
Why You Will Love This Recipe?
I think you’re going to enjoy this pasta! It’s:
- really delicious
- & ideal for warmer climates
- Why, you might wonder, is the temperature getting warmer? Eat it hot, cold, or lukewarm — it’s still wonderful. As a result, it’s ideal for picnics, road vacations, and beach days.
Sun- Dried Tomato Pasta Ingredients:
When I claimed this dish was simple, I wasn’t kidding! You literally just need seven items to get started.
- Pasta – your favorite short pasta form!
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Oil — You’ll use that deliciously flavored oil in pesto.
- Arugula or fresh basil
- Flakes of red pepper
- Spinach, baby
- Parmesan cheese, ideally freshly grated
How To Make Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta?
- Sauté garlic and sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Take the sun-dried tomatoes out of the skillet.
- Season the chicken slices with salt and paprika.
- Cook the chicken in the skillet over high heat.
- Reintroduce the sun-dried tomatoes. Half-and-half and shredded Mozzarella cheese are optional.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower to a low heat and whisk in the sun-dried tomato sauce until it melts.
- Season with basil, crushed red pepper flakes, and salt.
- Stir in the cooked and drained penne pasta to mix.
Tips And Tricks:
- Use either oil-free sun-dried tomatoes or oil-soaked sun-dried tomatoes (in a jar). Note: If using sun-dried tomatoes in oil (in a jar), be sure to drain the oil before using the sun-dried tomatoes.
- Before cooking, sprinkle a tiny quantity of paprika over the chicken to give taste as well as color to the meal.
- Keep some pasta water aside since you will DEFINITELY need it to thin down the cream sauce.
- Feel free to up the amount of spices in this recipe, such as basil, red pepper flakes, and paprika. This will enhance the flavor of the sun-dried tomato sauce!
- Make careful to season the chicken mozzarella spaghetti with just enough salt. This implies you may need to add extra salt. The tastes of basil and sun-dried tomatoes will be enhanced by the addition of salt.
Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce Method:
- Cook 3 cloves minced garlic and 4 ounces chopped sun-dried tomatoes in 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over high-medium heat for about 1 minute.
- Bring 1/2 cup heavy cream + 1/2 cup milk (or 1 cup half-and-half) to a boil in the same skillet. Reduce the heat to a low simmer.
- 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Simmer, stirring constantly, until the cheese melts and produces a creamy pasta sauce.
- 1 tablespoon dried basil, 1 tablespoon paprika, and at least 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes To mix, stir everything together.
- Add around 1/4 teaspoon salt to taste.
Ideas For Pasta Mix-In:
Once you’ve mastered this recipe, you can jazz it up even more with the following add-ins:
- Scallops, shrimp, or salmon are examples of seafood.
- Chicken – any kind of chicken will do!
- Breadcrumbs with garlic
- Something creamy, such as a dab of half-and-half or cream cheese
- Mushrooms or broccolini are examples of vegetables.
- White Beans
- Cook the pasta until it is al dente, but no more. Barilla gives explicit directions on their package, so follow the instructions!
- When you add the spinach to the saucepan, it will appear to be a large amount. However, spinach wilts rapidly, so you’ll be pleased you added so much.
- For this dish, use sun dried tomatoes wrapped in oil rather than regular sun dried tomatoes.
- Try incorporating artichokes or olives.
- Use a different type of pasta. A short pasta, such as penne or bowties, might also work nicely here.
- Replace fresh garlic with roasted garlic (I’d use an entire head or even two).
Are There Any Additional Vegetables Or Proteins That Might Go Well With This?
The good news is that this recipe is quite adaptable! Fill up the blanks with anything you like — sliced chicken sausages, spinach leaves, peas, etc.
should I Substitute Dried Basil For Fresh?
Dried basil, on the other hand, would make this sun dried tomato and spinach spaghetti crispy. Fresh basil is essential, but if you can’t find any, feel free to experiment with other fresh herbs.
Is There a Pine Nut Substitute?
If you can’t locate pine nuts or they’re out of your price range, use a mild, roasted nut instead. Walnuts would complement the flavors of this dish beautifully. I’d just avoid nuts with stronger tastes, such as cashews and peanuts.
How Do You Reheat Pasta?
It is preferable to reheat the pasta on the stovetop with a little water and chicken stock. Simply add cold spaghetti to a skillet or sauté pan with your preferred liquid and stir until warmed through.
Leftover pasta may be kept in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days if properly stored.
MORE DELICIOIUS RECIPES HERE:
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 4 ounce sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 pound sliced chicken breast tenderloins
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1 cup half-and-half (or 1/2 cup heavy cream with 1/2 cup milk)
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (do not use fresh Mozzarella, use pre-shredded Mozzarella)
- 8 ounces penne pasta (for gluten free, use gluten free brown rice pasta)
- 1 tbsp. basil
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup (or more) saved cooked pasta water
- 1/4 tsp salt, to taste
Sauté garlic and sun-dried tomatoes (drained from oil) in 2 tablespoons olive oil (reserved from the sun-dried tomatoes container) in a big pan for 1 minute on medium heat, or until the garlic is aromatic.
Remove the sun-dried tomatoes from the skillet while keeping the olive oil in place.
Cook the sliced chicken (salted and lightly coated with paprika for color) for 1 minute on each side over high heat. Take the pan off the heat.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Save some of the cooked pasta water. The pasta should be drained.
Sun-dried tomatoes, cut into smaller pieces, should be added back to the pan with the chicken.
To create the creamy pasta sauce, heat the half-and-half (see replacement for half-and-half in the Recipe Notes section below) and Mozzarella cheese in a pan over medium heat.
Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until all of the cheese melts and a creamy sauce develops.
Stir the cooked and drained pasta into the pan with the cream sauce.
1 tablespoon basil, plus at least 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes To mix, stir everything together.
If the creamy sauce is too thick, thin it up with roughly 1/2 cup of the leftover cooked pasta water in the skillet. Do not add all of the pasta water at once; you may need less or more.
Season the chicken pasta with salt and more red pepper flakes to taste. Allow it to boil for a few minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
Remember to season the meal just enough to bring out the flavors of the basil and sun-dried tomatoes.
What exactly is half-and-half? For 1 cup of half-and-half, use 1/2 cup milk + 1/2 cup heavy cream.
If you're using sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil (in a jar), make sure to drain them before using them. 2 tablespoons of the drained olive oil should be set aside.
Fresh Mozzarella should not be used. Fresh mozzarella is often sold in the form of a large or tiny ball in a brine or water solution. Fresh Mozzarella should not be shredded. Use pre-shredded Mozzarella cheese, which is available in bags.
Leftover pasta in an airtight container will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Reheat over medium-low heat with a little water and chicken broth.