Sunday, July 27, 2008

Creamy Basil and Red Pepper Pasta

Category: Penne Pasta
Serves/Makes: 4
Ready In: < 30 minutes

2 cups penne pasta, uncooked
4 ounces fat free cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup fat free milk
1 jar (7 oz. size) roasted red peppers, well drained
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

Cook pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, place cream cheese, milk, red peppers, basil and parmesan cheese in blender container; cover. Blend until smooth; set aside. Spray large skillet with cooking spray. Add chicken; cook on medium-high heat 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in cream cheese mixture. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes or until heated through, stirring frequently. Drain pasta. Add to chicken mixture in pan; stir gently until well blended.

Diet Exchange: 4 Meat (VL),2-1/2 Starch Nutrition (per serving) Calories 350 Total fat 5g Saturated fat 2g Cholesterol 75mg Sodium 440mg Carbohydrate 36g Dietary fiber 2g Sugars 4g Protein 37g Vitamin A 50% Vitamin C 35% Calcium 25% Iron 20%

You can find the recipe here.

Carm's Cooking Notes: The flavor of this dish was very good and it really did a nice job of showcasing the basil-- which was my objective. However, the sauce wasn't as "creamy" as I wanted it. I was going for more of a restaurant quality drippy sauce that I could scoop with my spoon and instead the sauce more or less just coated the pasta... I think it was too "thick" and maybe there wasn't quite enough for the pasta... like maybe some of it "cooked away" when I heated it for the 5 minutes. If anyone else tries this recipe and is able to make the sauce a bit creamier, please let me know what you did. If I try it again and experiment I'll be sure to post an update. Maybe I just needed to add a bit more milk? Not sure.

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