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Chicken and Bacon Pasta with Spinach and Garlic Cream Sauce

June 25, 2015

I don’t know if you do this, but I do. I wanted something different for dinner last night. We have been eating clean for a month now and I needed something with carbs. I scoured pinterest and found this recipe. It sounded soooo good. I went to the grocery store and picked up some half and half and some parmesan cheese (I had everything else already). I came home and started prepping. My husband sauntered into the kitchen, ¬†looked at the laptop opened on the counter and asked what I was fixing. I told him I was trying a new recipe, it would be a surprise. He looked at me skeptically and walked out of the kitchen. I have been kinda hit or miss lately in the new recipe department. Some have been good and more have been bad, so I understood his skepticism.

He loved it! As a matter of fact he said I hit a grand slam with this one. My son stopped in after work, he loved it also. Asked if he could take some for his lunch. I figure we have a new recipe to add to the monthly rotation. It is high in fat ( bacon and half and half), but every once in a while will be okay.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Hope your family enjoys it as much as mine did.

 

Chicken and Bacon Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes in Garlic Cream Sauce
Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Chicken and Bacon Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes in Garlic Cream Sauce
Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound chicken (chicken breast or tenders)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (thyme, oregano, basil – combined)
5 medium tomatoes, chopped in large cubes
1 cup cooked spinach
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
6 bacon strips, COOKED, DRAINED OF FAT, AND CHOPPED
1 and 1/3 cups half and half
1 and 1/3 cups Parmesan cheese, shredded
10 oz penne pasta (for gluten-free version, use gluten-free brown-rice penne, such as Tinkyada)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, for serving
Make Dairy-Free Penne Vodka for Dinner

Instructions

In a large skillet, on high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of 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.
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.
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, only about 1 minute (at most 2 minutes). Then, immediately remove from heat. Season with more crushed red pepper and salt, if needed.
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.
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.

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About Terry Houchin

Hi, my name is Terry Houchin. I live on the on the Gulf Coast of Texas with my husband of thirty-eight years and our two dogs, Miley and Shadow. I have two grown sons and a grandson. I am a retired teacher who loves gardening and reading. I am currently working on writting a novel.