creamy chicken pasta

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chicken_veggie
Well we survived the very happy second birthday! We kicked it off with a happy birthday song via iPhone to Nana, Papa & Uncle Mike, and then kept it going all the way until bedtime. Don’t worry, there are a ridiculous amount of photos soon to come. 
Let me just sum it up by saying that the birthday King didn’t understand why today was just like every other day when yesterday was ‘all about him’. Daddy may have had a handful of drama to handle this morning. Love you daddy-o!
This amazingly creamy pasta dish caught my eye on Pinterest the other day (@kellywestover if you want to follow along). I love the color of all the veggies, plus I’m a bit of a pasta-aholic and cream sauce is one of my favorites! We’re trying out this recipe tomorrow so here it is if you want to try it with us. Mmmmmm k?

Happy Wednesday!

RECIPE FROM BAKECAKERY.COM

CONFETTI CHICKEN PASTA RECIPE
Veggies & Pasta
16 oz. of Whole Wheat Penne Pasta (always cook al dente in salt water according to pkg directions)
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut in 1″ cubes
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ c. Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, long thin slices (mom uses red, yellow and orange…)
1 c. Broccoli florets
1 c. Asparagus, chopped in 1″ pieces
1 c. Grape tomatoes
Cook your pasta and let it drain.  (tip: I always add a bit of olive oil to my pasta water during cooking so the noodles don’t stick together). Sprinkle the chicken breast with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook chicken until done and golden on all sides. Remove and let rest in a large bowl.
Add the remaining olive oil and begin sauteing the onions for 2 min. Add in the garlic and bell pepper and saute another 2 mins. Then toss in any other woody veggies  (broccoli, asparagus) saving the tomatoes until the very end.
When everything is cooked, combine the veggies with the chicken in your big bowl. (I’m all about reducing dishes here) Now its time for the sauce!

Spicy Cream Sauce
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour (I used whole wheat)
2 c. half & half
1/4 tsp. of red pepper flakes
1 c. Feta cheese (mom uses Parmesan)
In the same pan you cooked the chicken and veggies in, melt the butter over medium heat. Toss in the flour and stir, cooking 1-2 minutes.  (We are making a roux)
Slowly add in the half and half while stirring to prevent any clumps from forming.  Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes and allow to simmer until you see boiling action.  Stir periodically.
When your sauce begins to thicken and bubble, turn off the heat and add in your cheese. Stir until melty (yes that’s a technical term).
To assemble everything I like to add the pasta first so it gets nice and coated with sauce and then pour the rest of the goodies in. (see photo above). This makes enough for 4 people (or two if you want lunch the next day!)

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