Is there anything better than ending the day with a huge bowl of pasta? I really don’t think there is. Several weeks ago, I made this bowtie pasta from the Pioneer Woman and loved it. I decided to use it as the basis of a new pasta dish, with some bacon and fresh veggies added. The result is this recipe I’m sharing with you today!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 16 oz pasta (I used penne)
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast or tenders
- 2 slices of good quality bacon (I used uncured Black Forest Bacon from Trader Joe’s)
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 3/4 cup half and half
- 3/4 cup shaved Parmesan
- 1/2 – 1 cup chicken broth, as needed
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 cup grape or small tomatoes, halved or quartered
- salt and pepper, to taste
Start by prepping your pasta, according to package directions.
Every good dish starts with a base of bacon, right? I used this Black Forest bacon I found at Trader Joe’s. It’s got a nice, smoky flavor and I’d totally recommend it! I just chopped up two sliced, let it cook, then I removed the bacon with a slotted spoon onto a couple of paper towels.
Next, I added 2 tablespoons of butter to the bacon drippings and used that to pan fry my chicken. As you might imagine, this gave my chicken all kinds of amazing flavor! I also seasoned both sides with salt and pepper. It took me about 8-10 minutes to cook the chicken all the way through, then I removed it from the pan. After it cools for a minute or two, slice it into small pieces.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to your pan and gently sauté your garlic for a minute or so – just long enough to soften it and get the aroma going, but not long enough to burn it. Then, you’re going to add your white wine which will deglaze the pan. Let the alcohol burn off (a minute or so), then slowly whisk in the half and half.
By small handfuls, drop in your Parmesan cheese and whisk until melted. I used this Parmesan, Romano & Asiago Cheese mix I found at Trader Joe’s for $2.99. It’s very good! Keep stirring until your sauce is at your desired thickness. Add some of the chicken broth as needed to thin it out.
Once your sauce is done, add in the cooked and drained pasta, the chicken, and the bacon.
Finally, add in your vegetables! I’m using these fancy small tomatoes I found as well as a couple good handfuls of spinach. Carefully work them in on low heat for a couple minutes, until they are warmed.
I absolutely loved this pasta! It ticked all the boxes: bacon, creamy sauce, bright veggies, perfectly cooked chicken. I served mine with a loaf of French Bread, lightly toasted in the oven and buttered. And washed down with the leftover Pino Grigio I made the sauce with!
Looking for more dinner ideas? Make sure to check out my recipe page!