Saturday, May 7, 2011

Baked Penne with Chicken and Spinach


* 3 tablespoon olive oil, divided
* 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
* 2 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (oil packed, dry packed, either will work)
* 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
* 14.5 ounce can whole tomatoes
* 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
* salt and black pepper
* 8 ounces penne
* 5-ounces fresh spinach
* 4 - 6 ounces mozzarella
* grated Parmesan (to your liking)


1. Heat oven to 400° F.
2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Lightly brown the cubed chicken in 1- 2 tbsp of oil. Chicken doesn’t have to be fully cooked through – it will finish cooking in the oven.
3. Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes.
4. Cut up the whole tomatoes in the can with scissors or crush by hand. Add to the saucepan with the vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the penne for half the package directions’ recommended time.
6. Add the spinach to the sauce and cook, stirring, until it begins to wilt, about 1 to 2 minutes.
7. Coat 9x13 casserole pan with cooking spray. Drain pasta. Add chicken and pasta to the dish, toss to combine.
8. Pour tomato sauce on top of chicken and pasta; stir to combine. Top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
9. Bake uncovered until bubbling and beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

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