Sundried Tomato Pasta with Spinach and Chicken
Servings: 6 servings
- 1 pound spaghetti noodles regular or gluten free
- 1 pound chicken tenderloins
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 8 oz sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, undrained
- 1 Tbsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
- 3 cups fresh spinach
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- olive oil
- grated Parmesan for serving
- Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water, salt generously, and bring to a boil.
- For the chicken, heat a large, high sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Season chicken tenders with salt and pepper. When skillet is hot, add olive oil to coat bottom of skillet and add tenders in an even layer, leaving space between them, working in batches if necessary. Cook for 4-6 minutes before attempting to flip. If chicken sticks, keep cooking until it releases and is golden brown. Cook on second side for 2-3 minutes, or until meat thermometer reads 165. Add a splash of water to the skillet and scrape up any brown bits. Transfer chicken and any remaining liquid to a plate to cool before dicing.
- Add spaghetti to boiling water and cook for 8-9 minutes, until very al dente. While pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce.
- Return skillet to medium heat and add olive oil to coat bottom again. Add onions and cook 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic and cook another minute, until fragrant. Add dried basil, paprika, red pepper flakes, and sun dried tomatoes along with their oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cook 5 minutes longer, until sauce is bubbling.
- Transfer about a cup of sauce to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Return sauce to skillet along with heavy cream and bring to a boil.
- Using tongs, transfer al dente pasta to skillet, bringing some pasta water along with it. Toss pasta with tongs to combine into the sauce to finish cooking, adding ½ -1 cup more pasta water if sauce needs to be loosened. After about 5 minutes, check pasta for doneness and seasoning, adding more salt if necessary.
- Add spinach, chopped chicken and any reserved chicken juices and toss to combine with pasta (do this step in a large bowl if necessary). Serve with fresh parmesan on top.