Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes is an easy and impressive dish to prepare. One of Susan’s favorite websites is Pinterest. I have to confess that I spend a lot of time there as well! Given her passion for cooking, Susan spends a lot of time looking at different things to try. One such thing is tonight’s dinner – Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes.
The basic recipe comes from Julia’s Album. As you might imagine, however, Susan tinkered a bit with the recipe.
Ingredients for Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
I used the following ingredients: Garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, skinless/boneless chicken breasts, salt, pepper, paprika, half and half, shredded mozzarella, ziti, fresh basil and crushed red pepper flakes. I know that it sounds like a lot, but the recipe came together pretty quickly.
Making the Pasta Dish
As a first step, I sautéed the minced garlic and sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil for about a minute, just until the garlic was fragrant.
Then, I removed the sun-dried tomatoes from the pan. Next, I added the chicken, which had been lightly salted and sprinkled with paprika, to the pan. I cooked the chicken for about a minute on each side.
To make the sauce, I started by adding the half and half to the pan.
While the sauce was cooking, I cooked the pasta according to package directions. Once the cheese was melted and the sauce creamy, I added the chicken along with some of the pasta water to enhance the creaminess of the sauce.
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- 3-4 ounce sun-dried tomatoes in oil or fat-free
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound (16 ounces) chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup (8 ounces) half and half
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 8 ounces ziti or penne pasta
- 2 Tablespoons fresh basil
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes at least, add more to taste
- 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water or more
- Salt to taste
- Grated Parmesan cheese
In a Dutch oven, on high heat, sauté garlic and sun-dried tomatoes in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant. Remove sun-dried tomatoes from the pan, leaving the garlic and oil. Add chicken breasts, salted and lightly covered in paprika (for color) and cook on high heat for 1 minute on each side. Remove from heat. Slice sun-dried tomatoes into smaller bits and set aside.
- Add half and half, mozzarella cheese, and grated Parmesan cheese to the Dutch oven, and bring to a gentle boil.
- Immediately reduce to simmer and cook, constantly stirring, until all cheese melts and creamy sauce forms. If the sauce is too thick - don't worry - you'll be adding some cooked pasta water soon.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve some cooked pasta water. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water (to stop cooking).
- Add cooked pasta and chicken to the skillet with the creamy sauce, and stir to combine. Add 2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh basil, some grated Parmesan cheese, and at least ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
- Add about 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water because the creamy sauce will be too thick (do not add all water at once - you might need less or more of it). This will water down the thickness of the cheese sauce and make it creamier. Immediately, season the pasta with salt and more red pepper flakes, to taste, if needed. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes for flavors to combine.
- Yield: 6 servings.
If using sun-dried tomatoes in oil (in a jar), make sure to drain sun-dried tomatoes from oil, before using them. Reserve 2 Tablespoons of this drained oil for sautéing as described above.