Chicken, Spinach, and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta in a Creamy Cheese Sauce

It doesn’t matter that it’s hit 90 degrees almost every day this week; when I want a savory pasta dinner, that’s all there is to it. And thankfully this dish is quick to throw together and enjoy. The less time spent in the kitchen during the work week, the better, regardless of the weather. The smooth ricotta is the perfect base to this cheesy sauce. The cheddar and asiago combined with sun-dried tomatoes creates a delicate balance of savory and mild sweetness. And the spinach adds a pop of color. I had a real craving for noodles, but you could also serve this over mashed cauliflower or spaghetti squash.

 

Ingredients:

1 pound chicken, cut in 1-inch pieces

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 shallot, diced small

1-/4-1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, dry or with oil drained, sliced thin

2 cups spinach

2 cup chicken stock

1/4 tsp. red chili flakes

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/3 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

½ cup whole milk

3 tablespoons flour

½ cup ricotta

½ cup shredded asiago cheese

1/2 cup shredded sharp white cheddar

1/4 tsp. paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

1 box spaghetti noodles, or whatever you have on hand

 

Heat a teaspoon of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Once the chicken is just browning (after two to three minutes), add the garlic,  sun-dried tomatoes, shallot, mushrooms, and spices (minus the paprika). Cook until the onion is translucent and the mushrooms are lightly browned. The chicken should be almost cooked.

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At this point, get your pasta or other base cooking so it will be ready when the sauce is finished.

Add the chicken broth to the chicken mixture slowly, scraping up any stuck bits of goodness. Turn the heat down to a medium low. You want it to be barely simmering. Add the spinach and let it wilt for a couple minutes. Whisk the flour into the milk in a separate bowl and slowly add the mixture to the pan, whisking continuously.

Add the three cheeses and paprika and stir thoroughly.

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Add more salt and/or pepper to taste and serve over your pasta or other base.

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Eat with: A green salad or lightly dressed asparagus spears.

 

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