pasta with chicken marengo

i have probably thrown together a pasta dish with chicken, mushroom and spinach in tomato sauce before but this recipe shows how additional spices and ingredients can surprise your taste buds.

i wouldn’t have imagined adding thyme, orange juice and orange zest to a pasta dish but it definitely ups your flavor palette without adding much cooking time.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces whole wheat fusilli, penne or your favorite pasta shape
  • 6 ounces or 1/3 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces organic baby spinach
  • sea salt, to taste
  • crushed red pepper, to taste

Preparation

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain in a colander and transfer to a warmed serving bowl.

Toss the chicken with the flour, thyme, and pepper. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Add the mushrooms and 2 tablespoons of the broth. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mushrooms are barely softened and have begun to release their juices.

Add the crushed tomatoes in puree, orange juice, orange zest, spice, salt, the sun-dried tomatoes, and the remaining broth. Bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release the browned bits. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 8 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened and the flavors are blended.

Finally add the spinach and pasta. Mix for 1-2 minutes until spinach softens. Serve.

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original recipe on Women’s Health from the Homestyle Family Favorites Annual Recipes 2008: Penne with Chicken Marengo

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