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Happy Monday everyone. It’s mighty hot today outside  here in Missouri. Wanted to set out and do some work but the heat was to much.

I decided last night I was in the mood for some Italian food and this recipe came to mind. Today I’m making chicken & bacon pasta with spinach and tomatoes in a garlic cream sauce. It is a delicious pasta dish and your going to love it. The creamy home made Alfredo sauce is what makes this dish so yummy.

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Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken (thin sliced chicken breasts or tenderloins)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning (thyme, oregano, basil combined -fresh is better )
  • 5 tomatoes (medium, chopped in large cubes)
  • 1 cup spinach cooked (cook for a few mints  in a separate skillet till it wilts)
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes , crushed
  • 6 bacon strips , COOKED, DRAINED OF FAT, AND CHOPPED
  • 1 1/3 cups half and half
  • 1 1/3 cups Parmesan cheese , shredded
  • 10 oz penne pasta 
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese , shredded, for serving
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, on high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil until hot. Add chicken and cook on one side on high heat for a few minutes. While it cooks, sprinkle the uncooked sides of the chicken with paprika and Italian seasonings. Flip the chicken over, and cook on the other side for a coupe minutes on high heat. Reduce heat to medium, flip the chicken over again and cook, covered, for several minutes until no longer pink in the center (thin slices of chicken work best or chicken strips). Remove chicken from the pan and set side.
  2. In  the same pan (but without the chicken), add chopped tomatoes, the wilted spinach, garlic, crushed red pepper and cook for  about 1 minute.
  3. Add the chicken back in to the pan (sliced into small strips) and  the bacon (already cooked and drained of fat, best if cooked nice and crunchy). Mixing  everything together.
  4. Add the half and half and bring to boil. Only after half and half starts boiling, add shredded Parmesan cheese – immediately reduce to simmer and stir, while simmering, until the cheese melts and makes the sauce creamy, only a few mints. Then, immediately remove from heat. Season with more crushed red pepper and salt, if needed.

    5. In the mean time bring a large pot of water to boil, add pasta and cook it according to instructions. Drain the pasta, and add the pasta to the skillet with the sauce, chicken and tomatoes. Season with more salt if necessary and simmer for a few more mints letting entire ingredients cook together. Be sure to watch and not let sauce get to thick. from simmering to long.

    Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese on top of the dish and serve.

     

     

 

 

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