Chicken Tetrazzini

We all need a meal that does not need a lot of thought.  A little chopping, a little mixing, and throw it together over some heat.  This Chicken Tetrazzini was a complete winner at our house served with a green salad and warm, garlic bread.  Big score that we had a yummy lunch the next day.  Here’s to an easy night in the kitchen!- AmandaChicken Tetra

Chicken Tetrazzini

3 T butter

1 medium onion, chopped

3/4 cup celery, chopped

2 cups chicken breasts, cooked and chopped into bite-sized pieces

6 oz. uncooked spaghetti noodles, broken in half

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1 can cream of chicken soup

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Paprika

Melt butter in a large skillet.  Add onion and celery.  Cook until clear.  Arrange chicken in a layer over the onion and celery.  Add uncooked noodles.  Mix salt, pepper, soup, and chicken broth together and pour the mixture over the noodles.  Make sure that all noodles are moistened.  Place mushrooms over the top and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and a little paprika.  Simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.

Spicy Chicken Rigatoni

Pasta dishes always make me happy!  Yes, I might need to run a few extra miles but it is so worth it.  This Spicy Chicken Rigatoni totally hit the spot.  I served it with warm garlic bread and a fresh green salad.  I’m thinking next time I will recreate this dish with linguine instead of rigatoni.  Warning:  Be careful adding extra crushed red pepper.  Of course Chris and I added the kick but we did not add to Will’s.  Keep it Spicy! -AJF

Spicy Chicken Rigatoni

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 T crushed red pepper

1/8 t salt

1/8 t ground black pepper

1 T chopped garlic

1 lb. chicken, sliced

3/4 cup. Marinara sauce

1/2 cup Alfredo sauce

1/4 cup english peas (completely optional)

2 t butter

1/2 lb. Rigatoni pasta, cooked according to package directions

additional 1/2 t crushed red pepper (for garnish)
In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add crushed red pepper, salt, black pepper, and garlic.  Sauté long enough for garlic to caramelize and red pepper to release flavor into the oil. Add sliced chicken and sauté briefly to coat in spices and garlic.

In sam pan add marinara sauce first and then alfredo sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook until sauce thickens slightly and chicken is fully cooked. (Internal temp is usually about 165 degrees.) Turn off flame, add butter (english peas if you want to) and incorporate into sauce.

Toss cooked pasta with the sauce. Place pasta and sauce in pasta bowl, reserving the majority of the chicken to be placed on top of the pasta. Garnish with crushed red pepper (if you want a big spicy kick) and serve.

Angel Hair Pasta with Chicken and Grape Tomatoes

We all want a quick weeknight meal.  A meal that does not need a lot of brainwork and is delicious.  This meal has all our favorites: pasta, tomatoes, and chicken.  Serve it with a salad and garlic bread.  Here’s to keeping it easy on a weeknight!- Amanda

Angel Hair Pasta with Chicken and Grape Tomatoes 

2 skinless chicken breast halves, diced in 1 inch cubes

cooking spray

1/2 t dried basil

kosher salt and fresh pepper

8 oz angel hair pasta

2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

6 cloves garlic, minced

4 T extra virgin olive oil

3 T chopped fresh basil

Heat a large skillet on high heat. When hot, coat with cooking spray and add chicken. Season chicken generously with salt, pepper, and basil. Cook about 3-4 minutes, until no longer pink. Remove chicken and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.  While pasta cooks, add olive oil to skillet on high heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden brown. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium-low. Sauté about 4-5 minutes. Add drained pasta to garlic and tomato mixture and toss well. If pasta seems too dry, add some of the reserved pasta water.  Then add fresh basil and chicken and toss well. Serve and top with grated cheese.

Chicken and Spinach Shells

I was in a pasta mood.  I needed a meal that would cure my craving and be healthy.  This dish controls the amount of pasta you use and adds fabulous ingredients that don’t leave you with guilt.  It’s simple and healthy.  I whipped up these chicken and spinach shells without much thought.  It has a tasty hit and has been requested in the future.     Enjoy!- AF

Chicken and Spinach Shells

12 jumbo pasta shells

1 1/2 cup pasta sauce

2 large egg whites, gently beaten

1 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced

1 cup frozen spinach (chopped) thawed (drain all excess water)

2 t garlic powder

1 T oregano

1 T chopped basil

1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook shells in boiling water according to the directions on box.
Rinse with cold water and set aside for later use.
Lightly spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and spread 1/2 cup of pasta sauce evenly over the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
Pasta shell filling: Stir together egg whites, ricotta, chicken, spinach, garlic powder, basil, and oregano. Stir in 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.
Fill each shell with mixture and place filled shells in the baking dish on top of the sauce. Spread remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and salt and pepper to taste.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Baked Ziti

This an easy favorite among my family and friends. Usually we divide the recipe in two dishes. Cook one at home and give the other to a friend. What friend doesn’t like a yummy meal delivered to their door? But be the friend that delivers in a throw away baking container. No one wants to return containers. (stepping off soapbox)
-AF

Baked Ziti

1 box of ziti or penne

1 jar of spaghetti sauce (use your favorite or experiment with a new sauce) *I used RAO’S

15 oz Ricotta cheese (or substitute 1 cup of sour cream*)

1 pkg. 12 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese (add more cheese if you like more cheese- we do)

Parmesan cheese

1 lb. Italian sausage, brown and crumble (optional)

Cook pasta in water with olive oil and salt. Drain. Put pasta into 8 1/2” x 11” olive oil coated casserole dish. Stir in spaghetti sauce, ricotta, sausage, and 8 oz of mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle mixture with parmesan cheese. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Now the decision: cook, refrigerate, or freeze. This is my favorite meal to divide in half. I keep one for us and take the other to a friend.

Cook for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. If frozen, cook for 45 minutes at 375 degrees.

Top with chopped parsley if you have some.

Serve with garlic bread and salad.