Penne with Chicken and Red Peppers in Light Cream Sauce

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Where did the last whole year go??! I simply can’t believe it’s been over a year since my last post back in November 2015! Thank you for those of you that continued to pop in to refer to my old recipes! I have no sound reason or excuse for not posting here over the past year. I thought about it almost every other day, felt guilty, but didn’t quite take the time to translate that to action. But, here I am today, with a renewed enthusiasm to post again – and what better way to kickoff the new season (both the Fall season and my season 2 of blogging) than share with you a simple recipe for a comforting dish of pasta with chicken and red peppers in a light cream sauce!

This dish really does together in a snap! All you need is some cut-up boneless/skinless chicken (thighs or breast), red peppers, some light cream, pasta and basic seasonings such as Italian herb mix and garlic. You can work on the chicken and red pepper sauce while the pasta cooks, so you can just toss the pasta into the sauce as soon as it is done! What is even more appealing about this recipe, since it is super quick to make, this could easily be a weeknight dinner recipe!

So, grab the few ingredients listed below and start whipping up a comforting bowl of pasta for tonight! And, oh, if you so desire, stir in some cut up spicy chicken Andouille sausage with the chicken for an extra special treat!

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Penne with Chicken and Red Peppers in Light Cream Sauce

  • Servings: 8
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Ingredients:
1 16-oz pkg of penne pasta (I used vegetable kind)
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red bell pepper, cut up into bite size pieces
1 1/2 pounds boneless/skinless chicken, cut up into bite size pieces
1 cup canned fire-roasted diced tomato
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup light cream
Crushed red pepper, Salt and Pepper to taste
Extra cheese, if desired

Preparation:
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to directions.
2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute onion and garlic for a minute and add the red peppers. Stir often and cook until the peppers are a bit charred.
3. Add chicken to the pan and continue to saute till it cooked through.
4. Slowly add the tomato to the pan and season with salt, black pepper and salt to taste. Continue to cook for another 3 minutes.
5. Mix in the grated cheese and light cream. Reduce heat and simmer till everything melds together (about 3 minutes).
6. Turn off heat and toss in the cooked, drained pasta. Serve immediately.

Tip: Leftover pasta can be transferred to an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator for another meal mid-week.

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Creamy ricotta sausage pasta

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Hey guys, I have a question for you…what is the most versatile thing in your pantry? Hmm…so you too think it is pasta! Oh, good, then we are on the same page!

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What is not to love about it, right? It cooks so fast, could be made into a both cold and hot dishes, tastes great with or without meat and comes in many shapes, sizes and varieties! So, yes, I guess they are one of the best things to have around in the pantry, right!

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Anyway, I am glad I had one of those boxes in the pantry the other night! Some cooked pasta tossed with sausage, ricotta, tomato sauce and few other ingredients made for a wonderful dinner after a busy day at work!

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Adding vegetables into this dish makes for a true one-pot dish that provides a well-balanced meal. Kids will likely eat right through without realizing they are actually eating vegetables! A win, right!

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Why don’t you try it out and share your comments!

Creamy ricotta sausage pasta

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients
1/2 package of your favorite pasta, cooked according to directions
4 links of reduced fat sausage of your choice, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onions
3 large cloves, finely minced
2 cups thinly sliced kale
1 cup sweet peppers thinly sliced
1 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon crushed red peppers
1/4 teaspoon crushed oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

Preparation
1. Heat a large non-stick frying pan and lightly brown the sliced sausages.
2. Remove the sausages and keep aside. In the same pan, add the olive oil and cook the onions and garlic for 2 – 3 minutes.
3. Add the veggies and continue cooking for about 5-7 minutes. Add back the sausage.
4. Stir in the tomato sauce, herbs, crushed red peppers, salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Gently stir in the ricotta cheese. Toss in the pasta.
6. Serve immediately sprinkled with a bit of mozzarella or parmesan!

Cajun Style Rice with Chicken Sausage

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I am one of those people who loves to use up leftovers fast. If I don’t plan to use them in the next day or two, I promptly freeze them up for the following week or so. Both options come in handy when I am looking for a quick meal idea.

And that’s exactly how this recipe was born! I had cooked brown rice in the refrigerator and also some leftover coconut milk. I also had a package of lean apple chicken sausage. I used to prepare more dishes with sausages but have cut down to using occasional chicken or turkey sausages. They are very handy to use in pasta or rice dishes and I usually have a package on hand.

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This recipe utilizes the basic trinity – bell peppers, onions and celery along with kidney beans. It was a snap to put together and tasted so delicious that I will certainly make it again for a planned meal as well.

Cajun Style Rice with Chicken Sausage

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients
1 1/2 cups of cooked brown rice
1 can of kidney beans (or other bean of your choice)
1 pkg chicken sausage
1/2 cup chopped green peppers
1/2 cup chopped red peppers
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped red onions
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup tomato sauce
3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt to taste
1/2 avocado, sliced thin

Preparation
1. Slice the sausages into bite size pieces.
2. Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté all the chopped vegetables, including garlic.
3. Add the sausages and sauté for few minutes.
4. Add tomato sauce and thyme and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
5. Mix in the beans and rice.
6. Season to taste with salt. Be careful as tomato sauce and the sausage already add good amount of salt.
7. When the rice and beans and heated through with rest of the ingredients, gently stir in the coconut mil.
8. Serve immediately wit sliced avocado.