Monday, April 4, 2011

Creamy, Cheesy Pasta

Whenever my husband (who does the vast majority of the shopping - grocery and otherwise - in our family) is at Sam's Club, he picks up a rotissere chicken.  You can get a nice sized one there for about $3 cheaper than our other local super markets.  We've found this to be one of the most convenient, and tasty, ways to satisfy recipes that call for "X amount of cooked chicken".  For awhile, the only way that my girls would eat any sort of meat (at my house, anyway...sometimes they eat things for grandparents that they would never dream of touching for me) was when I was breaking down a rotissere chicken.  They couldn't get enough and would have eaten the whole thing if I'd let them.  When I used the same chicken in a recipe, however, they'd pick it out.  Two-year-olds.  Sheesh.

Anyway, the last time we had one it ended up sitting around the fridge for a few days.  A chicken without a plan.  I rummaged through the fridge and pantry trying to find some way to throw together a decent meal.  Actually, more than just a decent meal because we were having company for dinner. From what I had on hand, I created this creamy, cheesy pasta - and it was pretty spot on.

Just a note - Since I rarely cook for people outside my immediate family, I was terribly nervous about not having enough food. I over did it.  This recipe makes a lot.  I would probably recommend cutting it in half if you don't want to eat it every night for a week.  The first night we had it, it served 6 (plus 2 picky girls who I don't think really ate anything and weren't served a full serving between them).  Then, over the next week, we made 4 additional meals out of the leftovers.

Another note: when reheating leftovers, mix in a splash of milk.  This works expecially well when reheating on the stove, not the microwave.

Creamy, Cheesy Pasta with Chicken
Briefly saute 1 small onion, diced, and about 2 cloves of minced garlic in olive oil.

Then add:
2 packages of cream cheese
1-1/2 C. sour cream
1/2 C. parmasean cheese
1/2 t. (ish) salt
1/2 t. (ish) pepper
1-1/2 to 2 t. (ish) dried basil
1/2 t. (ish) italian seasoning
Milk (enough to give it a creamy texture), probably somewhere around 3/4 - 1 C.

Seperately, saute:
about 1-1/2 sweet bell peppers (red, yellow, orange or a mixture of those three), diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
sprinkling of salt, pepper, and dried basil.

Add the sauteed veggies to the sauce, along with about 6 cups of diced, cooked chicken.

Serve over pasta - the sauce turned out to be just the right amount for a full box of cooked pasta.

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