Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Creamy Tomato Penne with Chicken and Spinach

I wish I could be one of those people who can cut carbs. Sadly I am not! Just thinking about not eating pasta makes me tear up. I know it is January and I need to eat healthier but I love me my pasta! 

I did skip the “bake it in the oven with a pile of cheese on to” step, so that is something right?

What you need,
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1 ½ cups penne pasta, you could use whole grain if you want
1 package of baby spinach
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 ½ cups of your favourite jarred pasta sauce
1 2/3 cups canned diced tomatoes, drained
¼ cup Philadelphia light cream cheese spread
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. fresh grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup part skim mozza cheese, if you decide you want to bake it. The cheese made it into the picture but I decided against it in the end.

Also, some fresh chopped basil added in at the end would really be great. I didn’t have any, wish I would have!

Cook the pasta according to the directions on package. Add in the spinach leaves during the last minute of cooking time.

Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet heat on medium high heat. Add chicken and basil, cook for 4 minutes or so until chicken is brown and no longer pink. Put the garlic in and stir around for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add the pasta sauce and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 4 or 5 minutes. Stir in the cream cheese until melted.

Drain the pasta and spinach and add it to the sauce. Stir it around until coated. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
I topped mine with a little extra parm, cause that is how I roll!

If you were going to bake it, you would put the pasta into a large baking dish and top with the mozza cheese. Bake it in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or so, until hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted and browned!

This was so great! I just love creamy tomato sauce. It wasn’t too heavy, and the spinach made me feel healthy!

I can’t live without my carbs!


recipe adapted from Kraft Canada