Sorry for my absence these past few days. My husband took some time off of work, so my blogging has been pushed aside. But I am here and DO have some fantastic dishes to share! The kids finish school on Thursday and I plan to have a better posting schedule for the Summer.
Speaking of fantastic dishes...Chicken Bacon Penne is a complete winner! It's a simple but savory skillet casserole. Every time I make it, there isn't a speck of it left. I can easily say this is both husband and kid approved. That doesn't happen with every dish.
1/2 Lb penne pasta, uncooked
4 slices of bacon
1/2 of a sweet onion or shallot, thinly sliced *optional
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 chicken breasts
1 cup cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (Grate from the block, not the green can)
salt and pepper to taste
Prepare pasta as directed on package, making sure not to over cook. DRAIN THE NOODLES BUT DO NOT RINSE THEM. *You need the starch on the penne to help thicken the cream sauce.
Cook your bacon in a large, non-stick skillet, until it's nice and crispy. Remove, and let cool on a paper towel; reserving at least 2 Tbs of the bacon drippings in the skillet.
While the bacon is cooking, slice your chicken into strips and then into bite size pieces. Season it with salt and pepper and set aside. (If I am out of fresh garlic I sprinkle it with garlic powder.) Add onion to bacon drippings and cook for a few minutes; just until they start to soften. Add garlic and cook for another minute or two; just until fragrant. Add chicken and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes. Just until it's lightly browned on each side. Add cream and let simmer for a few minutes. When cream is bubbling nicely, add the Parmesan cheese, stirring well. *Sauce might seem a little thin, no worries! It'll thicken as it simmers another minute or two. Add in your cooked penne and let heat through. Crumble your bacon and add it to the mix; lightly stirring. Garnish with additional Parmesan if you like. (I do!)
NOTE: I listed the onion as optional because it really is. Sometimes I leave it out. The dish is fantastic either way! Also this is a very versatile dish. If you have any mushrooms, asparagus, or peas, add them to your boiling pasta about 2 minutes before it's ready. Then drain it all together and add to the chicken and cream mix.