Tuscan Chicken and Pasta

Tonight I really wanted to make something different and I wanted to make something I know my husband would like.  I was a little skeptical about this recipe because it has a red sauce and I admit, I’m not a big fan of red sauce.  Want to know why?  Well, it’s a  funny story and quite simple:  When I was in high school, the administrative office had this poster and it was of a baby with an entire bowl of spaghetti with red sauce dumped over it’s head and the baby was crying and the poster said something along the lines of “you may think you’re having a bad day”, but really thanks to that poster, I’ve never really been a fan of red sauce….ESPECIALLY with ground beef.  Yes, I’m picky.  Hey, some people have consistency issues, some have issues involving red sauce and babies.  Don’t judge.  (Hahaha – *wink*)

HOWEVER, there are some exceptions to the rule and this dish is definitely one of them!  It is a recipe that requires a little extra work, but in the long run it’s SO worth it.

This recipe is an adaptation of a Chicken Bruschetta Pasta, which I found via Pinterest and is originally posted at diethood.com.  As you can see I’ve made a few changes because well, that’s what I do!  And that’s the great thing about recipes is that nothing is set in stone.  Recipes are simply a guide to go by and anyone can make changes according to their preferences!

Tuscan Chicken and Pasta

Ingredients:

1 package seashell pasta (large shells in a bag, not the jumbo kind you stuff).
1 Tbsp.  olive oil
4 – 4oz Boneless and Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into cubes
6 Roma Tomatoes, diced
1 cup Cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp. Butter + 1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp.  Dried Basil
4 cloves Garlic, minced and divided in half
4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 cup Tomato Sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
Glaze:
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
3 Tbsp. white sugar

Directions:

  1.   Cook pasta according to directions on the package.  Drain and set aside.
  2.   Cut chicken into cubes and sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper.  Set aside.
  3.   In a medium skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute for about 8-10 minutes.  Set aside.
  4.   Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the cubed chicken and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until it is no longer pink inside, or reaches an internal temperature of 165F.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  5. Dice the Roma tomatoes on a cutting board and then place the diced tomatoes and their juices into a bowl.  Add the dried basil, half of the minced garlic, salt and pepper to the bowl and set aside.
  6. To the same skillet, add 2 Tbsp. olive oil.  Once heated, add the other half of the minced garlic and saute until fragrant, about 20 seconds.  Be careful not to burn the garlic so keep a close watch on it.
  7.  Turn the heat in the skillet to medium-high and add the diced tomato mixture to the skillet and stir.
  8.  Add the tomato sauce to the skillet and bring to a boil. Add the cooked pasta and lightly stir or toss to coat the pasta evenly.  Add the chicken and mushrooms and lightly stir or toss so everything is coated.
  9. In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat, lower heat and let simmer about 10 minutes and it should come out to be like a syrup.  Evenly pour over the pasta and gently combine.
  10. It’s time to eat!

Note:  Since this serves 4 and there are only two of us, so it leaves quite a bit leftover and this is one dish I think I can actually eat leftovers from (normally I run screaming into the night when someone puts leftovers in front of me.  Hey, I grew up in a house where leftovers were something dad took to the office for lunch in a Tupperware container).

 

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