Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Chicken

Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Chicken

Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

with Chicken

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Weeknight cooking may seem daunting at times when trying to juggle feeding your family, appointments and activities.  It doesn’t have to be complicated, some of the best dishes are quick and simply. Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Chicken is a fantastic combination of garlic, sun-dried tomato pesto and cream.   This gloriously creamy pasta dish is a perfect family meal yet delicious enough for company. 

I enjoy boneless, skinless chicken thighs for this recipe but you can easily use boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead if that is your preference.  Shrimp is also a fantastic combination as well. Or skip the protein all together for a great meatless meal option. Using store bought sun-dried tomato pesto helps to make this recipe quick and easy.  There are plenty of brands out there to choose from and I cannot say that one is better than the other is, so find one you like and keep it at the ready.  You’ll want this gorgeous dish on repeat!!

Author:  Compelled to Cook

 

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Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Chicken

Cook Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces fettuccine
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs 3-4 depending on size
  • as needed salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomato pesto
  • as needed freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions in well-salted water. Drain well, reserving a cup of pasta water.
  • While the pasta is cooking, season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add chicken and cook until browned on both sides and cooked through. About 5-6 minutes per side.
  • Remove the chicken to a clean dish and cover it with aluminum foil to keep it warm.
  • To the same skillet add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes over low heat.
  • Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping up the browned bits left in the pan and allow the wine to reduce slightly.
  • Add chicken broth, stir and reduce for 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in heavy cream and reduce for 2-3 minutes until slightly thickened.
  • Add sun-dried tomato pesto and stir over low heat until combined. Remove from heat.
  • Slice cooked chicken into strips.
  • Add chicken and pasta to the sauce and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and a generous splash of pasta water. Toss to combine well over low heat.
  • Serve immediately with extra Parmesan cheese if desired.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Prepared Mediterranean Pasta Salad served in a clear bowl on a wooden tray.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

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Go ahead and skip the mayo with this Mediterranean Pasta Salad that is bright and briny with a wonderful array of ingredients. The zesty dressing made with Dijon and fresh herbs is a burst of flavour that takes this salad to the next level. Olives and pancetta add a nice texture and brininess to the pasta, while the spinach, cherry tomatoes and red onion keep it light and fresh. Mediterranean Pasta Salad is great for picnics, potlucks, backyard BBQ parties and your July long weekend. This salad holds up wonderfully the day it is made so there’s no fear of a soggy salad. The pasta and pancetta can be cooked up to two days ahead so tossing this salad together at the last minute is a cinch. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Mediterranean Pasta Salad arranged on a wodden tray.

This recipe was one of the first posted to my blog back in 2016 and I forgot how delicious it is. I felt it deserved a little revival just in time to enjoy for summer.

Author:  Compelled to Cook

 

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 cups

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces gemelli or fusilli pasta
  • 4 ounces pancetta
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil see note
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano see note
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley see note
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups lightly packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced and roughly chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water until pasta is cool. Drain well and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a small skillet cook pancetta over medium heat until crispy and fat has been rendered, about 5-7 minutes. Drain well on a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, basil, oregano, Dijon mustard, red pepper flakes, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Toss together pasta, pancetta, spinach, cherry tomatoes, black olives, red onion, parmesan cheese and dressing until combined. Adjust seasoning and serve.

Notes

-fresh herbs are lovely in this recipe, however, if you need to use dry herbs use 1/3 of the amount stated for fresh.
-this salad is best served the day it is made but leftovers will keep for 2 days covered in the refrigerator.

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Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops

Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops

A shallow bowl filled with Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops and pieces of crusty bread.

Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops

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Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops is a wonderful homemade dinner ready in about 40 minutes when using jarred roasted red peppers. Roasted red peppers are widely available at most grocery stores and they make wonderful sauces and dips. For this recipe, the roasted red peppers are pureed with onion, garlic, herbs, and cream for a luscious sauce that hugs the spaghetti nicely and makes an easy yet delicious dinner.

Dry spaghetti, onion, garlic and salt arranged around a black pot in preparation for Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops.

It’s not always easy being creative in the kitchen and coming up with a wide range of meal options for you and your family, especially if you have picker eaters. Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops has a blended sauce that is smooth, creamy and mild in taste, making it appealing to many.  Not a fan of scallops? Try the recipe with shrimp, cooked chicken chunks or just an extra sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Other kinds of pasta like linguine or fettuccine will work well too, so use up what you have. The creamy sauce can be made up to two days in advance and warmed gently on the stove before adding the scallops. But I find little need to make it ahead of time when it comes together quickly as it is. But if you are all about the meal prep, I would suggest making a double batch of sauce and freezing half for use later. You just can’t beat meals made from scratch and this is a great dinner to have on rotation.  Enjoy!

Red Pepper sauce in a stainless steel sauce pan ready for cooked spaghetti for Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops.
A shallow bowl filled with Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops and pieces of crusty bread.

Author:  Compelled to Cook

 

A shallow bowl filled with Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops and pieces of crusty bread.
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Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops

Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 340ml jar roasted red peppers, drained about 8 ounces
  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 12 ounces bay scallops, patted dry
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • as needed chopped fresh basil

Instructions

  • Heat a large pot of well-salted water to a simmer. Add spaghetti and cook according to package directions, about 8-9 minutes. Drain well, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft but not browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the white wine and reduce for 2 minutes. Stir in broth, herbs and spices and continue to cook until the liquid has evaporated.
  • Pour mixture into a blender along with roasted red peppers. Puree until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  • Pour the sauce back into the pan and whisk in cream. Heat to a simmer and reduce for 1-2 minutes. Add the scallops and cook for about 3 minutes (depending on size) stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and adjust salt to taste. Add the cooked spaghetti and Parmesan cheese tossing to coat in sauce, adding a splash of pasta water if needed.
  • Divide among serving dishes and garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Notes

-

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Pappardelle with Peas and Bacon

Pappardelle with Peas and Bacon

Pappardelle with Peas and Bacon served on a wooden plate with dimly lit candles and a linen napkin in the background.

Pappardelle with Peas and Bacon

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Pappardelle with Peas and Bacon is a great way to enjoy a satisfying bowl of creamy pasta without feeling bogged down with heaviness. It has a splash of cream, just enough to cling to the noodles and make it taste heavenly. The bacon is a must for a burst of salty, meaty texture to this dish, so it’s recommended not to omit it. The peas provide that fresh, earthy bite that makes this a pasta dish that you want to eat during the summer. It’s also a lovely way to use your fresh garden peas if you’re lucky enough to have them. You simply need to simmer your fresh shelled peas in lightly salted water for about 6-7 minutes until just tender and add to the pasta with the parmesan cheese at the end. It’s so good!

Ingredients for Pappardelle with Peas and Bacon arranged on a wooden plate garnished with fresh parsley.

Don’t have pappardelle pasta? No problem, I’ve made this recipe many times using fettuccini, linguini and penne rigate. I happen to enjoy it most with the pappardelle, but use what you have and enjoy!

Pappardelle with Peas and Bacon
Print Recipe
    Servings
    2 people
    Servings
    2 people
    Pappardelle with Peas and Bacon
    Print Recipe
      Servings
      2 people
      Servings
      2 people
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a gentle boil.
      2. Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium heat and cook bacon until crisp-tender. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined dish reserving a tablespoon of bacon fat in the pan.
      3. Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving a cup of hot pasta water.
      4. Heat remaining bacon fat over medium-low heat and add garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until starting to soften but not brown.
      5. Stir in cream, peas and salt. Heat to a full simmer and allow to reduce for 1 minute.
      6. Reduce heat to low and stir in pasta, reserved bacon, parmesan cheese and parsley and toss until combined and creamy. Add a small amount of hot pasta water as needed to bring everything together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
      7. Serve immediately with additional parmesan cheese.
      Recipe Notes

      -Linguini, fettucini and penne rigate work well in this recipe if pappardelle is not available.  Simply substitute your favourite using the same quantity size as stated in the recipe.

      -Fresh summer peas are optimal in this recipe if you have them.  Simmer your fresh peas in lightly salted water for 6-7 minutes until just tender and add at the end with the parmesan cheese

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      Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin

      Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin

      Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin baked in small red ceramic cocotte dishes.

      Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin

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      I absolutely love hot, cheesy spinach and artichoke dip. It’s something I can dig into and truly be a little pig about. So today’s post is a riff on one of my favourite dips made into gnocchi casserole form. This will likely be my last warming and hearty casserole of the season because it’s time to think spring…and I’m definitely okay with that. But in the same breath, I didn’t want you to miss out on this wonderfully cheesy and saucy Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin.

      If you’re not familiar with gnocchi, they are essentially little dumplings often made with mashed potatoes or ricotta cheese. Very simple to make, they cook in minutes and they can take on whatever sauce you want to toss them in. A classic sauce is a butter and sage sauce, but your favourite family meat sauce would be great too. The cheese lover in me can’t help but smother the tender little dumplings in a luscious Gruyere cheese sauce. Enjoy!

      Ricotta gnocchi dusted lightly with flour on a tan cutting board in preparation for Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin.

      Tips for great gnocchi:

      Don’t overwork the dough and mix only until combined. This will prevent too much gluten development in the flour.

      The grooves are not necessary, however, they help the dumpling hold the sauce. It only takes a few extra minutes to roll each piece over the tines of a fork or gnocchi board.

      Cook gnocchi in gently simmering water and only cook until they start to float to the surface. A rapid boil is a little too rough for the tender gnocchi.

      Gnocchi can be made and cooked ahead of time. Simply chill or freeze in a single layer on a large baking tray. Once they are frozen they can be stored together in a sealable bag or airtight container. If chilling, cover and use within 2 days.

      Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin baked in small red ceramic cocotte dishes.

      Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin baked in small red ceramic cocotte dishes.
      Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        4 people 75 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        27-33 minutes 5 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        4 people 75 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        27-33 minutes 5 minutes
        Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin baked in small red ceramic cocotte dishes.
        Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          4 people 75 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          27-33 minutes 5 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          4 people 75 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          27-33 minutes 5 minutes
          Ingredients
          Gnocchi
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          Gnocchi
          1. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, ricotta, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Stir in flour until dough starts to come together.
          2. Scoop dough onto a floured work surface and knead gently for a few turns until dough is smooth. Shape into a round disk, cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes for the flour to hydrate.
          3. Cut dough disk into 4 equal portions and roll eat portion into an approximate 15" log. Cut each log into 3/4" pieces, dusting lightly with flour as you go to prevent sticking.
          4. Roll each piece across the tines of a fork or gnocchi board, sprinkle with flour as you go to prevent sticking. Dust a large baking tray with flour and lay formed gnocchi in a single layer on the tray. Sprinkle with flour, cover and keep chilled until ready to use.
          Sauce
          1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until combined. Slowly add 1 cup of hot milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Repeat with remaining milk, adding it gradually and stirring until smooth after each addition. Once all the milk has been added, bring to a gentle simmer to ensure flour has thickened to its capacity. Continue to cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
          2. While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a simmer and preheat oven to 350°F.
          3. Remove the sauce from heat and stir in half of the Gruyere cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Once the cheese has melted stir in spinach and chopped artichokes.
          4. Gently add gnocchi to the simmering water. Cook until all the gnocchi float to the surface which will only take a few minutes. Remove with a slotted scoop to a towel-lined tray to remove excess moisture. Immediately add gnocchi to the sauce and stir gently to combine.
          5. Divide between 4 oven-safe individual cocotte dishes or ramekins that will hold a minimum of 1 1/2 cups. Divide remaining Gruyere cheese evenly over tops and place on a foil-lined baking tray. Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly. Turn oven to broil to lightly brown the tops for about 2 minutes.
          6. Remove from oven and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving as they are very hot.
          Recipe Notes

          A single casserole dish can be used instead of individual cocotte dishes if desired.

          It's important to add the cooked gnocchi immediately to the sauce as they will start to stick together if left to sit for too long.

           

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          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com