This is a great skillet recipe if you have leftover cooked chicken. You’ll need at least 2 breasts to make 4 servings.
The very creamy alfredo sauce is made completely from scratch with half and half, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, basil and crushed red pepper!
Make your favorite pasta and mix it with all the ingredients, it will complement everything nicely. Total Time: 1 hour
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small jar (3-4oz) sun-dried tomatoes in oil
2 tablespoons oil from the sun-dried tomatoes jar
7-10 sprigs of asparagus, cut into thirds
1 each yellow and red bell peppers, seeded and sliced thinly
8 oz of your favorite pasta (penne pictured), cooked
1 cup half and half
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/4 crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
Salt and pepper, to taste
16 oz (1 1/2-2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cooked and sliced into strips
Make sure to drain sun-dried tomatoes from oil, before using them. Reserve 2 tablespoons of this drained oil for sauteing. In a large skillet on high heat add this oil and sautee the garlic and the sun-dried tomatoes for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant. Add the rest of vegetables, sprinkle with a small amount of salt, and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes until they soften just a little (you still want them to have a bit of crunch).
Bring a large pan with water to boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve some cooked pasta water. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water (to stop cooking).
Add half and half to the skillet with vegetables and bring to a gentle boil. Then, add grated Parmesan cheese, mix it with half and half as it is boiling for only 30 seconds until it melts, then reduce heat immediately. Simmer and cook, constantly stirring, until all cheese melts and creamy sauce forms. If the sauce is too thick - don't worry - you'll be adding some cooked pasta water soon. Add 1 tablespoon of basil, and at least 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. Add cooked pasta to the skillet with the creamy sauce, and stir to combine.
Gradually add about 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water because the creamy sauce will be too thick (do not add all water at once - you might need less or more of it). This will water down the thickness of the cheese sauce and make it creamier. Immediately, season the pasta with salt* and more red pepper flakes, to taste, if needed.
Let it simmer for a couple of minutes for flavors to combine. Top with the slices of chicken breasts or stir them into pasta. Yum Yum!
*Make sure to salt the dish just enough to bring out of the flavors of basil and sun-dried tomatoes.
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