Creamy Red Pepper and Basil Chicken Penne

Creamy Red Pepper and Basil Chicken Penne | windykitchen

Are you guys getting excited for the Olympics? I gotta admit, I haven’t been too psyched for the winter Olympics since I was 9. And that’s because when I was 9, it was 1994, and the 1994 winter Olympics was the craziest thing that ever happened.

On that note, did anyone else watch that ESPN 30 for 30 special on Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan? I feel like everyone I’ve spoken to since that thing aired has wanted to talk about it. It was really fascinating how they dealt with the whole social class issue that was bubbling up in the background of that whole thing. I think some of that was lost on me when I was 9 (imagine that).

One interesting thing I’ve found in talking to people about the documentary is that most people my age clearly remember being either Team Nancy or Team Tonya. Did you guys have a horse in that race? I don’t remember having strong feelings on that issue. I may have been slightly Nancy-leaning, given that I tended to identify with brunettes over blondes.

Anyway, if you remember the 1994 Olympics at all, I highly recommend the ESPN 30 for 30. And if you need a super quick pasta-and-chicken dish to throw together for dinner tonight, see below!

Creamy Red Pepper and Basil Chicken Penne | windykitchen

CREAMY RED PEPPER AND BASIL CHICKEN PENNE (slightly adapted from Kraft)

2 cups penne pasta, cooked to al dente according to package instructions
8 oz. jarred roasted red peppers, drained
4 oz. cream cheese, softened (low-fat is fine)
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup milk (low-fat is fine)
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks

1. In food processor or blender, combine red peppers, cream cheese, basil, milk, and Parmesan cheese until smooth. Add salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste.
2. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then add to skillet. Cook chicken, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, 5-6 minutes.
3. Stir pepper puree into skillet and simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until mixture is heated through. Stir in cooked pasta, mix together, and serve, topped with additional basil and Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Yum!

Creamy Red Pepper and Basil Chicken Penne | windykitchen

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