Monday, June 7, 2010

Creamy Chicken Penne

Before you make this recipe, go out and buy some Romano Cheese (the kind you grate yourself). I know you're more comfortable with Parmesan, but the Romano will take the taste from "Mom made it" to "Olive Garden". I promise.

2 cups penne pasta, uncooked
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 T. Olive Oil
1 small red pepper, chopped small
1 pkg. snow peas (optional)
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 T. butter
1 T. flour
1 1/2 c. milk
4 oz. cream cheese, cut in cubes
1/2 c. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 T. chopped parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions in a large pot. Drain pasta but reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Meanwhile, cook chicken and onions in olive oil for 6-8 minutes in a large skillet. Add the pepper, peas and garlic and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Remove mixture from pan and cover to keep warm. Melt butter in skillet, then add flour, stir well, cooking for an additional minute. Then add milk. Bring to boil and cook until thickened (about 2 minutes), stirring constantly. Add cream cheese, grated Romano cheese and season with salt and pepper. Once bubbly and creamy, stir in the chicken mixture and the drained penne pasta. Stir to coat everything. If the mixture seems thick, add a little bit of pasta water to thin. Top with additional grated Romano and chopped parsley.

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