While browsing The Pioneer Woman's website the other day, I came across her recipe for Pasta with Bacon and Mushrooms. These are some of my favorite ingredients, so I used her recipe to inspire last nights dinner, using what I already had on hand. I picked up several boxes of Barilla's Piccolini pasta's this week, on sale a Meijer for only .88 cents a box. The 3 huge split chicken breasts I used were from a 5.5lb package I got at Sam's club for only $11.00, which means this whole dish, which was a huge amount of food, probably only cost me around $10 to make. It made enough for 8-10 servings, so you'll have enough for a crowd, or plenty of leftovers. My husband had to work late last night, so after I finished cooking, I sent him the above picture, to tempt him to hurry his tail up and get home! He took one bite and exclaimed "this is definitely blog worthy!" I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Mini Penne with Chicken, Bacon and Spinach
5 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
3 large split, bone-less chicken breast, cut into small bite-size pieces
salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder
6 slices Louis Rich Turkey Bacon, cut into 1/2 in. pieces
1/4 cup diced red onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (4 oz) cans mushrooms
1 carrot, diced
5 oz (1/2 of a 10oz) box of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove excess water
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/4 cups Half-and-half
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 16oz box Barilla Mini Penne pasta
Cook pasta according to package directions.
In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons Olive Oil over medium-high eat. Add chicken to pan and season with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder (to taste, I like lots of pepper!) Cook until no longer pink inside. Place chicken on a plate and cover to keep warm. To same pan, over medium heat, add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, bacon, onion, garlic, mushrooms, and carrots, along with extra salt and pepper, to taste. Saute until veggies until tender. Add spinach, and chicken broth. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any bits. Cook over medium-high heat for several minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half.
Reduce heat to medium and pour in half and half. Stir and allow sauce to simmer and thicken for several minutes. Add parmesean and chicken, stir and heat through. Note: At this point, if you want the sauce thicker, mix 1 tbls. soft butter with 1 Tbls. flour and stir into the sauce. This will thicken it very nicely. Serve with extra parmesan on top if desired.