Creamy Chicken Bow Tie Pasta
Why we love it:
- 11⁄2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt (divided)
- 1⁄2 package Farfalle Pasta (usually 1 pound box)
- 3⁄4 pound Chicken Breast
- 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter (divided)
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
- 3 Tablespoons Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- 1⁄2 pint Heavy Cream
- 1⁄4 teaspoon Nutmeg (if not freshly ground, use even less)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon Black Pepper (optional, and to taste)
- 6 ounces Baby Spinach
- 6 ounces Parmesan Cheese
1. BRING A LARGE POT OF WATER TO A BOIL
Add about 1 Tablespoon of salt (leave a teaspoon or so aside for seasoning the sauce). Cook pasta according to package directions. When it’s al dente, drain it, but scoop out 1 cup of the pasta cooking water first. Set aside. Don’t rinse the pasta but it can hang out in a colander until you’re ready to sauce it.
Dice the chicken into ½” cubes. Toss with a pinch of salt. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and melt ½ of the butter. Add the chicken and cook until it’s opaque and cooked through. It doesn’t matter if it gets brown, even preferable if it doesn’t brown, so it’s ok to put it all in the pan at once and stir often. When done, remove to a work surface to cool a little bit.
3. ONION + GARLIC
Thinly slice the onion into half moon shaped rings. Mince the garlic. In a large saucepan with tall sides, or a pot, melt the remaining butter and sauté the onion and garlic. Add a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat until they’re translucent and fragrant.
4. CHERRY TOMATOES
Add the pint of cherry tomatoes and turn the heat up to high. Keep your eye on the pan, you don’t want to burn the onions, but you do want a little color on the tomatoes. Stir occasionally and reduce back down to medium after about 4-5 minutes when the tomatoes are juicy looking and maybe have even popped a bit.
5. SUN DRIED TOMATOES
Meanwhile, either finely mince or blend the sun dried tomatoes. If blending, use ¼ cup of the pasta cooking liquid to puree it; if mincing, start with a knife, then add them to a bowl with the pasta liquid and mash a bit with a fork. Add this to the pan and let it sizzle and simmer for about 1 minute to reduce.
To the pan, slowly add the cream while stirring. You want to go slow and steady to warm the cream so it doesn’t curdle.
Next add the nutmeg and black pepper and about ½ teaspoon of salt.
Simmer for about 3-4 minutes, stirring often. The sauce should thicken up.
7. SHRED CHICKEN
Meanwhile, use two forks or your clean hands to shred the chicken cubes, then add them into the pan as well.
8. PASTA + SPINACH
Toss in the pasta and toss to coat. Add the (clean) baby spinach and keep tossing until it’s wilted. If the sauce is too thick for your preference, you can add more of the pasta cooking water about 1 Tablespoon at a time.
Serve in deep bowls with lots of parmesan cheese over top.
*Leftovers taste great but heat them slowly or the cream will separate. A non-stick sauté pan is great for reheating, but if you microwave it, just do it in 30 second bursts.