Chicken Pasta and Cheese

This recipe came to me in the middle of the night.  I have been wanting something different, especially pasta.  However this was going to work, it had to be quick and easy, I have work to do!  🙂

Note:  I think this recipe will work just as well with smoked sausage, Italian sausage or even a seafood like lobster…I might even add bread crumbs for a topping too!

Ingredients:

3 boneless & skinless chicken breast

1 box of whole wheat penne pasta

1 bag of shredded cheese (mexican 3 cheese)

1 jar of garlic/parmesan alfredo sauce

fresh garlic

sesame oil & olive oil

fresh spinach

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Boil the pasta, not until it’s done but about 5-8 minutes (it will fully cook in the oven). In a medium size pan, medium hot, add about 2 T of sesame oil and olive oil, add 3 cloves of fresh garlic (diced), stir around in the pan and remove the garlic.  Put the garlic in a medium bowl.  Brown and season the chicken in the oil.  Remove from the pan and put it in the bowl with the garlic. Drain and rinse the pasta.  Add the pasta to the bowl with the chicken and garlic.

Add the garlic parmesan sauce, cheese, and about 3/4 cup of fresh spinach to the mixture with the chicken and stir well.  Tip:  to get the rest of the sauce out of the jar…I pour a little bit of half and half and shake it up really well.

Once it is all mixed well, pour into a glass baking dish that has a cover.  If not, cover with tin foil and bake for about 20-25 minutes.  As a side dish I prepared my spinach of course:

Sauteed Spinach with Garlic (Takes about 3 minutes)

Bag of fresh spinach

Fresh Garlic

Sesame Oil

Mince the fresh garlic…I like a lot…at least 6 cloves.  In a warm pan, pour about 2 T of sesame oil and add the garlic.  Cook garlic in the oil for about 1 minute, add the spinach stirring it quickly to make sure it is covered with garlic and sesame oil for the flavor, season, and turn it off.  Don’t cook it more than a few minutes.  It will wilt quickly, and you don’t want it mushy.  Be careful not to over season as it absorbs the seasoning quickly. NOTE:  Spinach will cook down and one bag does not render much.  If you are cooking for 3 or more people…add an additional bag and a little more garlic.

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