Real Food for Real Life

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A makeover of an old standby...

Tuscan Chicken Pasta
This is one of my go to recipes for weeknight cooking, but I guess a "makeover" really isn't the right word as I didn't change the ingredients or preparation.  What I did do here was approach the cooking in a manner completely foreign to me- I measured everything and knew exactly how many servings I was going to end up with.  My usual method is to cook the whole box of pasta, the whole package of chicken, and generally "eyeball" everything else for taste and appearance.

Tuscan Chicken Pasta II

12oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, all visible fat removed, cut into small bite sized pieces
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced (1 T)
coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 15oz. can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise
1/2 cup thinly sliced roasted red bell pepper (from a jar is fine so long as water packed)
5-8oz. baby spinach
8oz. whole grain penne (I used Barilla)
4 T grated parmesan, divided use

In a small bowl, toss the chicken with the olive oil, garlic, and a generous amount of salt and pepper; let sit to marinate while you gather and prepare the remaining ingredients.  When ready to cook, put the pasta on to cook according to package directions.  Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and once hot, add the marinated chicken. and cook until no longer pink.  Add the beans, olives, and bell peppers to the pan to warm through. 

 
 Just before draining the pasta, add a few ladlefulls of the pasta water to the chicken and stir together to form a thin "sauce." While the pasta drains, turn off the heat and start folding in handfuls of the spinach.  Add the pasta and any remaining spinach and fold in until well combined.  Top each of four servings with one tablespoon of the grated parmesan.

WW Points Plus Value: 13 points as served

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