Thursday, December 10, 2015

Creamy Tomato Chicken Pasta

Chicken sausage, tomatoes, cream, fresh spinach, basil, and cheese: all the makings of a big bowl of yum. This delicious meal is weeknight friendly and super easy!

Can you believe we are *thisclose* to Christmas? Every year, I decide I'm going to be on the ball: decorate the house, bake for the office, make homemade gifts, ship the presents home in plenty of time, and order cards to send out. And every year, the first Sunday of Advent arrives on the heels of Thanksgiving and I find myself in a race to the finish line. This week and next week, in particular, are crazy busy with work related events to attend and host. And that list above? Not a single thing done!

All that to say - I get it. Pinterest has blown up with adorable baked goods, fancy kids crafts, and professional looking decorations and I'll be lucky to ship my presents out on time!

This pasta is for the rest of us - the people barely holding it together this holiday season. It's so easy you won't find yourself wishing you had just thrown in a frozen pizza when you got home. It's absolutely one of our favorite pasta dishes!

I typically use sundried tomato chicken sausage but you can use any variety you like.

Creamy Tomato Chicken Pasta
1 pound pasta (I love spirals!)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pound chicken sausage, casings removed
1½ cups half and half
1 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
1 8-ounce bag baby spinach, coarsely chopped
2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish

Cook pasta in a large pot of well-salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta water, and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and tomato paste and continue cooking for an additional minute. Add the chicken sausage, using a wooden spoon to break up the pieces. Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the sausage is completely cooked through. 

Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the half and half and Parmesan. Simmer lightly, stirring frequently, until the sauce reaches your desired consistency. Add the spinach, tomatoes, and basil and stir to combine, using the reserved pasta water to thin the sauce if needed. 

Top with extra Parmesan and basil and serve.

Adapted from Cook Like a Champion

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