This delightful pasta dish is a new favourite at our place and makes good use of the baby spinach that is still stubbornly growing in the garden. Baby spinach, cherry tomatoes and broccoli are the only things that I can successfully grow. Everything else seems to wither the minute I plant it.
Don’t be scared off by the seemingly huge ingredients list, you can have this family dinner dish on the table in about 20 minutes and it has bacon in it so it must be good.
PS – don’t overcook your penne like I did. Al dente is not just a fun word to say…
Creamy garlic chicken, bacon and spinach pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
500 gms free-range chicken thighs, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil)
5 medium ripe tomatoes, roughly diced
2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups baby spinach
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 red capsicum, diced and roasted in the oven until soft (you can also use a jar of chargrilled capsicum)
6 rashers of shortcut bacon, diced
1/2 tub low-fat Philadelphia cream cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved or grated
1 packet penne pasta (or any short pasta will do), cooked
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved or grated, for serving
Heat olive oil in a large frypan over high heat. Sprinkle each side of the chicken with the paprika and brown for about 2 minutes each side. Remove chicken from the pan.
Reduce heat to medium and then add the bacon to the pan and fry for about 3 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, garlic and roasted capsicum to the bacon and stir until almost cooked. Return the chicken to the pan and fry everything until fully cooked.
Reduce heat to low, mix the cream cheese and milk together until fully blended then add to the pan.
Once bubbling, add the grated Parmesan cheese, cook until cheese melts and immediately remove from heat.
Add cooked pasta to the pan with the sauce and mix through. Sprinkle with a little paprika and the extra Parmesan cheese and serve. Tastes good cold too for picnics and lunch boxes.
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What’s a favourite pasta dish at your place? Care to share the recipe?