To me, there are few things better than a comforting bowl of pasta, veggies, red wine, and tender chunks of chicken! The fact that this hearty and satisfying meal came together in about 45 minutes? Even better. I love recipes that give me a lot of bang for my buck. The most time-consuming part of this recipe is the chopping of the veggies and the chicken tenders. Once that's done, the rest of it comes together quite quickly.
Bella Chicken Cacciatore Pasta Bowls
adapted from Rachael Ray's Just In Time
Step 1: Heat a saute pan with high sides -- or a Dutch oven -- over med-high heat. Add 2 slices chopped bacon and cook until browned. Place the bacon on a paper towel and set aside. Drain most of the bacon fat out of the pan -- leave about 1 tbs. Cut 1 lb. chicken tenders into bite-size chunks. Salt and pepper the chicken, then cook until browned on both sides.
Step 2: Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside with the bacon. Add 2 tbs. of olive oil to the pan. Add 1 cup sliced mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes. Then add 1 cup chopped yellow onion, 1 sliced celery stalk, and 1 carrot cut into small pieces. Note: you might need to add another tbs. of olive oil at this point. Cook the veggies for about 6 minutes. Add 1 tsp. red pepper flakes, 2 cloves finely minced garlic, 1 tsp. dried oregano, and 1 tsp. dried rosemary.
Step 3: Stir well to incorporate the spices. Add 1/2 cup red wine, 1 can petite-diced tomatoes with garlic and oregano, and 1 cup chicken stock. Stir to combine, then add the reserved chicken chunks and bacon. Stir to combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Step 4: Meanwhile, cook 8 ounces of penne pasta in well-salted water. When the pasta is cooked, drain all but 1/3 cup of the water. Add the pasta to the saute pan or Dutch oven and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and let the mixture rest for about 5 minutes.
Step 5: To serve, ladle the pasta mixture into deep bowls. Top each serving with shredded asiago cheese. Serve with a nice crusty bread for dipping into the flavorful sauce.
This was a very satisfying meal-in-a-bowl. I served it with an Italian-herb foccacia bread that I picked up from the grocery store bakery yesterday afternoon. This meal was very hearty and satisfying -- it tasted as though it had been simmering for hours. It was full of flavors -- smoky from the bacon, spicy from the red pepper flakes, and the sauce had a rich flavor complimented by the healthy veggies.
I hope you'll give this delicious pasta dish a try the next time you have a craving for some delicious Italian food, but you don't a lot of time to spare!! I promise you won't be disappointed...