Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Creamy Red Pepper and Basil Penne with Chicken

I’ve been really into using cream cheese in pasta sauces lately. Of course, I’m always into cream cheese in any way, shape, or form. I put it in everything, even ice cream (stay tuned for that recipe!). Cream cheese is great with pasta, though, because it’s already thick and adds a tangy, slightly sweet flavor to the sauce.

The recipe I’m sharing today is really similar to a pasta dish I’ve already shared, except this recipe uses cream cheese instead of jarred Alfredo sauce. We all loved this. The basil, roasted red peppers, and cream cheese all came together to make a rich, creamy, flavorful sauce for the pasta. And it was ready in the amount of time it took to boil the pasta, so I’ll definitely be adding this one to our weeknight dinner rotation.

Creamy Red Pepper and Basil Penne with Chicken
source: adapted from Kraft Foods

2 cups penne pasta, uncooked
1 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, well drained
4 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

1. Cook pasta as directed on package.

2. Meanwhile, blend all remaining ingredients except chicken in blender until smooth.

3. Season chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder and cook in olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat until cooked through, stirring frequently.

4. Stir in pepper puree; simmer on medium heat 5 minutes or until chicken is done and mixture is heated through, stirring frequently.

5. Drain pasta. Add to chicken mixture; mix lightly. Sprinkle each serving with additional chiffoned basil, if desired.


Natalie said...

I love how easy this is. I've never tried cream cheese in pasta before but I'll be trying this. Think I could use low fat?

Cassie said...

Natalie, the original recipe actually called for low-fat, so yes, you definitely could!

Donna-FFW said...

What a lovely one dish meal.. I enjoy anything with roasted peppers.. delish!

Beth said...

This looks really good, going on my list to try!

Beth said...

I made this over the weekend. I added some fresh garlic to the pureed mixture. Oh so delicious!!

Gina said...

would you say this dish is spicy?