1/4teaspooncrushed red pepper flakesat least, add more to taste
1/2cupreserved cooked pasta wateror more
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.