February 14, 2017
Dinner, Lunch, Main Dish,
Poultry, Chicken, Dairy, Pasta, Fettuccine, Italian, North American, 5-Minute Prep, Quick Meals, Entertaining, Fall/Autumn, Summer, Sunday Dinner, Winter, Weeknight Meals, Food Processor, Stove Top, Boneless Pieces, Spring more
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"A super easy and quick cooking dish. And, it's just a nice twist of the classic fettuccine alfredo. By the time the chicken and pasta are done, the sauce is as well. Then, just toss and serve. Depending on what else you serve this with; it can serve 2-4 people. Roasted cauliflower makes a perfect side dish; or, fresh or roasted tomatoes are also a nice side."
Chicken ... First, I don't want super thin pieces of chicken; but, I like to lightly pound them - in order to get an even thickness for cooking. Just put them between a piece of plastic wrap to do this. You can use a meat mallet, rolling pin; or even a heavy pot.
Then, set the chicken on the counter to take the chill off. Now, I make two versions of my Italian seasoning blend; one is spicy, one isn't. So, if using a store bought brand ... add a little crushed red pepper flakes to your basic seasoning blend. Mix the salt with the Italian seasoning; and, coat the chicken breasts on both sides.
Tomatoes ... Puree the tomatoes in a small food processor until smooth. Now, if you don't have a food processor; use a knife and fine mince them. Then, use the back of the knife to mash the tomatoes into a paste. I usually buy a 8 or 12 oz jar, and puree all of it. I use what I need for this dish; and, keep the rest in the refrigerator. It is great to add to hummus, mayonnaise (for sandwich spreads), on burgers, in soups or gravies, etc. So, the extra never lasts long in my house.
Alfredo Sauce ... Add the cream, butter, and garlic to a small pot; and bring to medium high heat - just under a boil. Then, add pureed tomatoes; and, turn to low heat to reduce. It will take about 5-7 minutes to reduce - stirring occasionally.
Pasta ... As the sauce reduces, cook the pasta and the chicken. Cook the fettuccine in plenty of salted water. Once the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid (about 1/2 cup); and, return to the pot - covered and off the heat.
Chicken ... The chicken only takes a few minutes to cook; then, a couple of minutes to rest - so, it's perfect to start, when you start the sauce and pasta. I simply saute the chicken in a non-stick pan for 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown on medium high heat. Then, remove to a plate to rest, covered with foil. A few minutes later; thin slice or dice, your choice.
Alfredo Sauce ... As the pasta and chicken cook; and, the sauce has reduced - it's time to finish the sauce. Add the cheese off the heat; and, stir to combine. Then, return to the low heat until melted - it should only take a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Finish ... Add the sauce and spinach to the pasta; and, toss to combine. The heat from the pasta and sauce will wilt the spinach. As for the chicken ... if diced, you can add it to the pasta if tossed. If sliced; I usually serve it on top of the bowl of pasta. How you serve it, is up to you. If the sauce seems a bit dry; you can a little of the pasta water. I usually will add a little of the pasta water; but, that is up to you.
Serve and ENJOY! ... Plate the pasta - individual plates or family style; and, don't forget some torn basil to garnish on top. Personally, I like to plate family style. On the side; roasted cauliflower or tomatoes are a perfect side dish. As mentioned; this serves 2 large servings; or 4 smaller ones.
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