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Rigatoni Pasta with Chicken, Capers, and creamy pasta sauce made with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, cream or half and half, Mozzarella cheese

Rigatoni Pasta with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Craving some chicken pasta with an Italian twist?  Make this Creamy Rigatoni Pasta with Chicken and Capers in a rich and velvety Mozzarella cheese sauce with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Garlic!    The delicious pasta sauce recipe uses simple ingredients, such as garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, dried basil, red pepper flakes, cream (or half and half), and Mozzarella cheese.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 641 kcal
Author Julia

Ingredients

Meat

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 oz sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 lb chicken breast , thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

Pasta

  • 8 oz rigatoni (for gluten free, use gluten free rigatoni)

Creamy pasta sauce

  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 tablespoon basil , dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water or more
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Note: 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 below:

  2. In a large pan, on high heat, sauté garlic and sun-dried tomatoes (drained from oil) in 2 tablespoons of oil (reserved from the sun-dried tomatoes jar - see note above) for 30 seconds until garlic is fragrant.   Add thinly sliced chicken breast, sprinkle with salt and paprika, and cook on high heat for 1 minute on each side. Remove from heat.

  3. In the mean time, cook rigatoni pasta al dente. Reserve some cooked pasta water. Optionally, you can drain and rinse the rigatoni with cold water (to stop cooking).

  4. While the rigatoni is cooking, make the pasta cream sauce.  Add half and half to the skillet with the chicken.  Add 1 tablespoon of basil, at least 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.  Bring to a gentle boil.  Add Mozzarella cheese. Immediately reduce to simmer and cook, constantly stirring, until all cheese melts and creamy sauce forms.  

  5. Add capers. Stir to combine. If the sauce is too thick - don't worry - you'll be adding some cooked pasta water soon. 

  6. Add cooked rigatoni to the skillet with the cream sauce, and stir to combine.

  7. Add about 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water because the cream 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 this creamy chicken rigatoni pasta with salt and more red pepper flakes, to taste, if needed. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes for flavors to combine.

  8. Note: Make sure to salt the dish just enough to bring out of the flavors of basil and sun-dried tomatoes.

Recipe Notes

WHAT IS HALF AND HALF? To make 1 cup of half and half, combine 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream or heavy whipping cream.

Nutrition Facts
Rigatoni Pasta with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 641 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 37%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 117mg 39%
Sodium 864mg 36%
Potassium 1617mg 46%
Total Carbohydrates 62g 21%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 12g
Protein 43g 86%
Vitamin A 16.2%
Vitamin C 16.7%
Calcium 25.6%
Iron 22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.