Everybody loves a quick & easy dinner, right? I was watching an episode of the Pioneer Woman on Food Network a few weeks ago, and she had an episode devoted to 16-minute meals. 16 minutes?? Really? This Chicken Florentine Pasta was one of them, so I decided to give it a go. It's a light pasta dish filled with tender chicken pieces, fresh spinach and tomatoes, and dressed with a light sauce of white wine, butter, and Parmesan cheese. It really hit the spot on a warmer summer day.
Now, I'll be honest... it took me closer to 25 minutes start to finish. However, I was also cooking up a homemade ice cream base and garlic bread at the same time. (Multi-tasking at its finest!) So, I will compromise and call it a 20-minute meal.
The meal goes so fast because you do multiple things at once. Start cooking the pasta at the same time you start browning the chicken pieces. Once the chicken pieces are brown on both sides and cooked through, add garlic to the pan. Let it cook about 30 seconds; then add the chicken stock and white wine to deglaze the pan.
[A little tip about cooking with wine: definitely pick a wine you also like to drink! Or else what are you going to do with the rest of the bottle? You do, however, want to pick a dryer white wine for this recipe. Chief has a great system in their wine section, where the wines are labeled based on sweetness. 1 (very dry) to 5 (very sweet). I would choose either a 1 or 2 for this recipe. We went with a solid Chardonnay.]
Once the sauce is reduced by half, combine the cooked pasta, chicken pieces, spinach, tomatoes, and sauce. Let is sit a minute or two until the spinach wilts; then stir in the Parmesan and heavy cream. Serve with additional Parmesan and garlic bread, of course!
Chicken Florentine Pasta
Servings/Yield: 4-6 servings
- 12-oz penne pasta
- 1-lb boneless skinless chicken breast, diced into chunks
- salt & fresh ground pepper pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons minced garlic
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- 6-oz bag baby spinach
- 1-2 pints halved grape or cherry tomatoes, (optional: roasted)
- 1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- ¼ cup heavy cream
1. Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Add to skillet and brown for 4-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Remove to a plate.
3. Add garlic to skillet; cook 30 seconds until fragrant. Add chicken broth and white wine to deglaze the pan. Simmer until reduced by half.
4. In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, spinach, tomatoes, chicken pieces, and sauce. Let sit until spinach wilts. Add Parmesan cheese and heavy cream; mix thoroughly. Serve with additional grated Parmesan.
Source: adapted from the Pioneer Woman