Chicken and Bacon Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes in Garlic Cream Sauce – delicious creamy sauce perfectly combines all the flavors: bacon, garlic, spices, tomatoes. You might want to double this recipe!
I love making pasta with cream-based sauces. Cream sauce absorbs the wonderful flavors from all the ingredients in the dish, and with every single bite you get all the goodness and all the flavors! This pasta recipe is a true comfort food!
In this recipe, stove-top seared and spiced chicken is mixed with vegetables and bacon and then smothered in garlic cream sauce. So good! And, very easy to make! You can easily make it on a regular weeknight, as long as you have all ingredients!
It’s a gluten free friendly recipe, and all you need to do to make it gluten free is use gluten-free brown-rice penne pasta instead of regular penne.
And, here are step-by-step photos:
In a large skillet, on high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil until hot. Add chicken and cook on one side on high heat for 1 minute. While it cooks, sprinkle the uncooked sides of the chicken with paprika and Italian seasoning. Flip the chicken over, and cook on the other side for 1 minute on high heat. Reduce heat to medium, flip chicken over again and cook, covered, for several minutes until no longer pink in the center. Remove chicken from the pan and keep chicken warm.
To the same pan (but without chicken), add chopped tomatoes, spinach, garlic, crushed red pepper, 1/3 of the chicken (sliced into small strips) and half the bacon (it should be already cooked and drained of fat). Mix everything.
Add half and half and bring to boil. Only after half and half starts boiling, add grated Parmesan cheese:
Immediately reduce to simmer and stir, while simmering, until the cheese melts and makes the sauce creamy, only about 1 minute (at most 2 minutes). Then, immediately remove from heat. Season with more crushed red pepper and salt, if needed.
In the mean time, cook pasta according to package instructions. Add cooked pasta to the skillet with the sauce. Add remaining half of baon (already cooked and drained of fat). Season with more salt if necessary. Slice the remaining 2/3 of chicken into thin strips. To serve, top the pasta with chicken strips and grated Parmesan cheese.
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