Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tasty Tuesday: Pasta Comfort Food with Pizzazz

Bacon, Tomato, Chicken & Kale Garlic Penne

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound chicken (chicken breast or tenders)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 packet of Zesty Italian Seasoning
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen chopped kale
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
6 bacon strips, cooked, drained and chopped
1 and 1/3 cups half and half or whipping cream
1 and 1/3 cups Parmesan cheese, shredded
10 oz penne pasta
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, for topping at serving

1,In a large skillet, on high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil until hot. Add cubed chicken and cook on one side on high heat for 1 minute. While it cooks, sprinkle the chicken with paprika and Italian seasoning. Stir the chicken until well cooked. Reduce heat to medium and continue to step 2.
2. To the same pan add canned tomatoes, kale, garlic, crushed red pepper, and bacon. Mix everything well.
3. Add half and half (or cream) 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.
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. Season with more salt if necessary. To serve, top the pasta with grated Parmesan cheese

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