We’ve had bone chilling weather in Northern California this week. I have to admit, I’m a California girl through and through and have been known to throw on a sweater anytime it drops below 70 degrees, but people, it REALLY has been coooold. I’m talking high 20′s to low 30′s in the early morning hours.
When the temperature drops I instantly begin craving warm, comforting pasta dishes.
I’m a little obsessed with one pot meals like this one, especially when they involve pasta. Just throw the dry, uncooked pasta straight in and it all cooks up perfectly. The result is wonderful and clean up is a breeze.
The complete printable recipe is at the bottom of this post but stick around for a couple minutes and make some pasta with me.
And, we’re off…
Place a 12″ skillet over medium heat and coat the bottom with about 2 tablespoons olive oil. In goes 1-1/2 pounds of chicken that has been cut into bite sized pieces. Cook and stir the chicken for just a couple of minutes and then season with some salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Continue to cook until chicken is cooked through.
Remove the cooked chicken to a dish with a slotted spoon and set it aside for now.
Add a bit more olive oil to the pan, if needed, and then in goes a couple of teaspoons of minced garlic and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper to give the dish just a bit of a kick.
In goes a can of crushed Italian style tomatoes, 1-1/2 cups chicken broth, and 1/2 cup water.
And, the dry, uncooked pasta. I’m using shells but you can use anything you like. Penne, ziti, or fusilli, would all work well. Isn’t it just so cool that you can add the uncooked pasta straight in to the dish? Super cool.
Bring the mixture to a low boil then reduce the heat, cover and cook for about 12 to 14 minutes. Remove the cover and give it a stir now and then.
When the pasta has absorbed much of the liquid and is al dente, we are ready to move on.
Sitr in 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
Time to add that cooked chicken back to the skillet. The situation is getting better and better all the time. Give it a stir to combine it well. You can taste it at this point and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. It’s unlikely it will be needed.
Turn off the heat and sprinkle the top of the pasta with 1 cup shredded fresh mozzarella cheese and another 1/4 cup of Parmesan.
Transfer the skillet to a 475 degree oven and bake for about 5 minutes or till the cheese has melted and the pasta is bubbly around the edges.
Remove it from the oven and sprinkle about 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh basil over the top.
And, serve to your adoring fans.
This easy as can be, one skillet pasta dish is precisely what is in order on a cold night.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts,cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dry rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1 (28 ounce) can Italian style crushed tomatoes, in puree
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 4 cups dry, uncooked pasta (shells, penne, ziti, fusilli, etc.)
- 1 cup grated or shaved Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 cup shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
- Heat oil in 12" oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add diced chicken. Cook and stir for a couple of minutes and then sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon each of thyme, rosemary, and oregano. Cook, stirring, until diced chicken is just cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer chicken to a dish and set aside.
- Add a bit more olive oil to the pan, if necessary, and return pan to medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook and stir about 1 minute, until garlic is fragrant being careful not to allow it to burn. Add crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, water, and the pasta to the pan, stirring to combine. Bring the mixture to a low boil, then cover the pan and reduce heat slightly to keep it at a low simmer. Cook for 12 to 14 minutes, or until pasta is al dente.. Remove cover to stir occasionally as it cooks.
- When pasta is tender, remove the cover and stir in 3/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese and the cooked chicken. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Remove pan from heat.
- Sprinkle the top evenly with the mozzarella cheese and the remaining Parmesan cheese. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh basil.
- Adapted from Tracy's Culinary Adventures