The week just isn’t complete without Pasta Night. If you agree, you’re in luck! Our chefs put together a dish that’s sure to curb the most ferocious of carb cravings. In this recipe you’ll find al dente penne studded with chicken and roasted bell pepper, all tossed in a creamy roasted garlic tomato sauce. Finished with a sprinkle of Parmesan and fresh oregano, don’t be surprised if you mistake your dining table for the fancy corner booth at that red sauce joint downtown.
Produced in a facility that processes milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybean.
Chicken Breast Strips
Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Wash and dry all produce. Halve bell pepper lengthwise; remove stem and seeds. Pick oregano leaves from stems; mince leaves until you have 2 tsp (3 tsp for 4 servings; save any remaining leaves for garnish if you like).
Place bell pepper halves on a baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange cut sides down. Place garlic cloves on a small piece of foil; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cinch into a packet; add to same sheet. Roast on middle rack until bell pepper is lightly charred and garlic is softened, 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Once water is boiling, add penne to pot. Cook until al dente, 9-11 minutes. Reserve ¾ cup pasta water (1½ cups for 4 servings), then drain.
Meanwhile, place chicken in a medium bowl and pat dry with paper towels. Toss with half the minced oregano, a big pinch of salt, and a pinch of chili flakes if desired. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pan over mediumhigh heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 4-6 minutes. Turn off heat; transfer to a plate.
Once bell pepper and garlic cloves are cool enough to handle, transfer to a cutting board. Thinly slice bell pepper and gently mash garlic with a fork until smooth. Heat pan used for chicken over medium-high heat. Add tomato paste, ½ cup reserved pasta cooking water (¾ cup for 4 servings), ½ tsp salt (1 tsp for 4), and remaining minced oregano. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
Stir in cream cheese until melted. Add chicken, bell pepper, mashed garlic, penne, half the Parmesan, and 2 TBSP butter (4 TBSP for 4). (TIP: If needed, stir in more reserved pasta cooking water a splash at a time until penne is thoroughly coated in sauce.) Season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta between bowls. Top with remaining Parmesan. If desired, add a pinch of chili flakes and mince more oregano for garnish.