Monday, March 9, 2015

Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Broccoli

Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Broccoli
If you decide to use the dehydrated sun-dried tomatoes instead of those packed in oil (they are much cheaper,) may I officially advise you not to even try to chop them until you have re-hydrated them. My half gone fingernail should serve as a warning to you all. Enough about my kitchen clumsiness and on to this amazing dish. I was inspired by this recipe from Julia's Album, but I basically changed the entire dish.  Everyone loved it, though C picked out the tomatoes.  Tomatoes that I suffered for, but I was happy to have his extra.  I love the use of mozzarella in this cream sauce, it makes it so incredibly rich.
Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Broccoli

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 head broccoli, chopped
½ teaspoon paprika
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 ½ cups half and half
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
¼ cup grated parmesan
½ cup reserved cooked pasta water
1 tablespoon basil
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
16 ounces penne pasta, prepared per package instructions

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the chicken, broccoli and paprika, saute for 5 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and vegetables from the pan. Add the garlic and sun dried tomatoes, saute for 30 seconds. Add the half-and-half, mozzarella and parmesan to the pan, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes, salt and pepper to taste. Thin with pasta water if necessary. Stir in the chicken, tomatoes, broccoli, basil, red pepper and pasta. Serve.
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