Hello, hello – welcome to a new week!
We had a wonderful weekend chock-full of family time. I’m so sad it’s over! Lincoln’s baptism yesterday was absolutely beautiful. He behaved himself so well and even threw the pastor off when he looked up from his hymnal to see Lincoln grinning at the sound of his voice. So proud of my little man!
After the service we had a big brunch for Ben’s and my family. It was a full house, and a fun preview of family gatherings and holidays to come. Before we moved into our new place I was kind of a hosting grinch – there just wasn’t enough room to have more than a few people over. Now we can all spread out and run around. It is so much better!
Awkward family photo!
My in-laws and Ben’s brothers stayed with us this weekend to celebrate Lincoln’s big day, so Saturday afternoon I whipped up a huge pot of Chicken, Bacon, and Artichoke Pasta with Creamy Garlic Sauce for lunch.
This dish is the pasta version of one of my favorite pizzas with the same name from Papa Murphy’s (take ‘n’ bake, baby!) and it feeds a crowd. Chicken, bacon, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach are tossed with chewy pasta then smothered in a luscious creamy garlic and herb sauce. I’d say the taste is nearly identical!!
Start by cooking 12oz penne pasta in salted boiling water until al dente, then drain and set aside. Easy.
Next, cook 1/4lb chopped bacon (4 slices, y’all) in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, then remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Remove all but 1 teaspoon bacon grease from the skillet. Don’t forget to use my easy bacon grease disposal trick!
Add 1lb chopped chicken breasts to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, then cook until no longer pink. Then add 1 can quartered artichoke hearts that have been drained and chopped up, and 1/4 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes. Cook until the artichokes are heated through, 3-4 minutes.
Finally add 5oz fresh spinach (about half a bag of DOLE spinach) then toss with tongs until wilted, 1-2 minutes.
K! Now, you can cook the chicken/artichoke mixture first then make the creamy garlic sauce second, or if you’re confident enough, you can do them both at the same time. You can do eeet!
In a skillet or saucepan, melt 2 Tablespoons butter in 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium heat, then add 4 cloves minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds. This may seem like a lot of fat, but remember, this recipe makes a TON of food.
Next sprinkle in 1/4 cup flour and whisk until smooth, then slowly stream in 1-1/2 cups each milk and chicken broth while whisking constantly to avoid lumps. I used 2% milk, but you could use whatever you’ve got in the fridge.
Season the sauce with salt and pepper then switch to a wooden spoon and stir frequently until thick and bubbly, about 10 minutes.
To finish ‘er off, add 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, and 1 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt.) Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary.
Everybody into the pool! That is to say, combine the cooked pasta with chicken and artichoke mixture, the garlic cream sauce, and cooked bacon (mmm, bacon.)
Toss to combine, then scoop & serve!
Chicken, Bacon & Artichoke Pasta with Creamy Garlic Sauce
12oz penne pasta, dry
1/4lb bacon (4 slices,) chopped
1lb chicken breasts, chopped
salt and pepper
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/4 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes
5oz fresh spinach
For the Creamy Garlic Sauce:
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
1-1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Cook pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water until al dente. Drain then set aside.
- Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate then discard all but 1 teaspoon bacon grease. Add chicken to the skillet then season with salt and pepper and saute until no longer pink. Add artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes then saute until warmed through, 3-4 minutes. Add spinach then flip with tongs until wilted, 1-2 minutes.
- Meanwhile melt butter in extra virgin olive oil in a skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic then saute for 30 seconds. Sprinkle in flour then whisk until smooth and cook for 1 minute. Slowly stream in milk and chicken broth, whisking to avoid lumps. Season with salt and pepper then switch to a wooden spoon and stir until thick and bubbly, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat then stir in parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.
- Combine pasta, chicken and artichoke mixture, sauce, and bacon then scoop and serve.
So many mouthwatering flavors in this dish – where do I even begin? Well, bacon, first of all. But those pops of sweet from sun-dried tomato, and garlicky punch from the sauce are just Heaven. Hope you love this pasta, and have a great week!