Monday, February 13, 2012

Chicken Bow Tie Pasta

I was talking with my friend Tori, and we were discussing that sometimes the best dishes we make are off-the-cuff, whatever-is-in-the-pantry dishes. Many of these involve pasta. I had defrosted some panko-crusted chicken breasts that I needed to cook up tonight, but I wondered what I should do with them. I saw some bow tie pasta I'd recently bought, sitting in the pantry and decided a little pasta would be nice! Add some peas, a really good marinara, some pasta water, fresh ground pepper and grated Parmesan cheese, and voila! You have a yummy pasta dish that my kiddos gobbled up, and will make for some good leftovers! This one is going in the recipe book. This made six good sized servings.

Chicken Bow Tie Pasta
2 panko-crusted chicken breasts
*If you can't find these, you can easily crust your own chicken breasts with panko bread crumbs*
1/2 jar of a good marinara sauce (I used Mario Batali's Tomato Basil sauce)
1/2 bag of frozen peas
1/2 large bag (about 5-6 oz) of bow tie pasta
Grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly cracked black pepper

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cook your chicken for 16 minutes, flipping them over at the 1/2 way mark, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Set aside on your counter to rest for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, boil your pasta water. Add the pasta when ready and cook according to package directions. DO NOT dump the water out, and keep the pot and water on the heat even after you have removed the pasta.

3. Prepare a saute pan on another burner over medium heat. Add the pasta sauce to the saute pan, and add the pasta as soon as it is done. In the pasta water, add the frozen peas and cook for 2-3 minutes. Cut your chicken into small cubes (bite-sized). Add to the pasta and sauce. Add the peas to the sauce, pasta, chicken mixture. Add a small amount of pasta water to thin out the mixture. Mix and keep on the heat until everything is heated through. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and freshly ground pepper.

My kids asked for leftovers for dinner tomorrow night. This was a big hit and was so very simple.

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