Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Spinach Italian Chicken Pasta

Well it's only been 2 months since my last post!  It's been about that long since I made something good for dinner.

You think I'm joking.  I have, however, done other things.  I'm not sure exactly what, but surely I've done something in the last two months.

Anyway.  This pasta.  For dinner.  Like, tonight.

It was awesome.  My husband said it should be on the menu at an Italian restaurant.  My kids scarfed it down. (This is actually news because my kids do not love food mixed together.  As in, they want food to stay with its own kind.  As in, they love spinach, tomatoes, chicken, pasta and cheese, but don't let it touch.  Sometimes I go with this.  Sometimes I tell them to get over it and eat dinner and say thank you mama for dinner.)

I got the idea from a recipe on Pinterest, naturally.  But I deviated from the original a bit.  I thought it might be a bit dry if I baked it, so I just served it as a "skillet."  As Sunny Anderson would say, it's a "one pan plan, man."

There's only one picture of this meal.  If I described what was going on under my feet while I made this skillet and snapped this one lone picture, you'd be impressed that I cooked anything.

At least, I was impressed that I cooked anything last night.  It's WILD here!

Spinach Italian Chicken Pasta
Adapted from Key Ingredient

8 oz. penne pasta, cooked and drained (this is about 2 cups uncooked)
1 onion, chopped
1 T butter
2 cloves garlic
10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach
8 oz. chive & onion cream cheese
15 oz. Italian-style diced tomatoes
2-3 cups cooked chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
1 cup milk
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 2 cups shredded)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Cook the penne in salted boiling water (always heavily salt your pasta water!).  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet.  Saute the onion over medium-high heat for several minutes until tender.  Add the garlic and spinach.  Stir until the spinach is thawed.  Add the cream cheese and stir until creamy and melty. Add the tomatoes, chicken and milk.  Turn the heat to low.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in half of the cheese and the cooked pasta.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and cover.  When the cheese is melted, it's ready!

*If using raw chicken, just saute it with the onion and proceed.