Introduction: Herb and Chicken Penne With Creamy Italian Cheese

About: I like to cook and I blog about it. I love to garden and everything about it. I like listening to NPR and watching cooking shows. I have two sons. The oldest I put in collage and he is a Medical Assistant.

Delectable Italian deliciousness in a snap!! This meal is really easy to make. You mix your herbs, chop and cook the chicken, cook the pasta, and mix all that together with a few other ingredients for a Herb and Chicken Penne with Creamy Italian Cheese.

Before we get started lets talk a little about the benefits of some of the ingredients in this pasta dish.It calls for whole wheat Penne pasta. The whole wheat or brown pasta retains the fiber of the wheat flour. Therefore making the pasta a complex carbohydrate, not a simple carbohydrate like the traditional pastas with the fiber removed before being ground to flour. Complex carbohydrates digest slower, leaving you to feel full longer, giving more energy and controlling your blood sugar levels. This is great for diabetics.

One serving of Chicken (3 oz) provides about 65% of your daily need of protein. The recipe calls for flaked sun-dried tomatoes, but before they are processed, one cup of sun-dried tomatoes provides 7.6 grams of protein, 1.6 grams of fat, and 6.6 grams of dietary fiber. Which is equal to 27% of your daily need for fiber. Sun-dried tomatoes serve as an excellent source of minerals, including potassium and magnesium. They are also filled with vitamins K and niacin. Vitamin K is a help to blood clotting and wound healing and niacin is good for brain function (source for sun-dried tomatoes: Livestrong).

Let's get started with our step by step instructions.

Step 1: Preparing Pasta and Spices

Cook 2 cups of whole wheat Penne pasta according to directions on package. Drain well and set aside. While you are boiling the pasta you can mix the spices, including the corn starch in a small bowl, then set aside.

If you have allergies to corn, than you can use arrowroot starch. You will find this starch in your local "Whole foods Market" or other local health food store.

The spices you will need:
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomatoes flaked or powder
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 ½ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoons dried onion
1 teaspoon corn starch or arrowroot powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder

You may not find flaked or powdered sun-dried tomatoes. Just buy whole dried sun-dried tomatoes and place one or two small dried tomatoes in a food processor and process to flakes or powder. It is your preference.

By the way the way the colander in the image was part of a prize I won here at Instructables. It included this colander, a Instructable T-shirt and a 257 page book called "GLUTEN - FREE ON A Shoestring" (prize value was worth $65.00). The book includes 125 easy to make gluten free recipes. You can view the Instructable I entered in the contest, then you can do so by linking here: Almond Flour Honey Cake. If you haven't entered a contest here at Instructables, you really need to do so. It is a lot of fun.

But first on to the next step ------------------->>>

Step 2: Preparing Chicken Breast

You will need 1 pound of chicken breast, and cut it into 1 inch chunks. One pound is usually 2 or 3 breast.

Step 3: Preparing to Cook the Diced Chicken Breast

Melt 2 tbsp. of unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced chicken; cook and stir 5 minutes or until lightly browned. You should not see any pink remaining in the meat before proceeding to the next step.

Step 4: Adding Other Ingredients to Cooked Chicken

Next add spices, then a 14.5 oz. can of petite cut tomatoes, undrained. Next add 1 cup of cream or half and half followed by 1/2 cup of fresh grated Parmesan-Rigatino cheese. Mix all the ingredients until well incorporated. Bring to a boil, and stirring constantly until well blended and starts to thicken some. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.

Step 5: Boiling and Stirring Until Thickened

Step 6: Mix in Pasta

After the sauce has thickened stir in pasta and......

Step 7: Tossing to Coat Pasta With Sauce

toss gently to coat.

Step 8: Cover Pasta and Let Stand

cover the pasta mix and let stand with heat off for 5 minutes.

Step 9: Plate and Serve

Plate and serve with additional cheese, if desired. Prepare your favorite salad to accompany the meal.

We have more recipes here at Recipes for a Healthy You as well as here at Instructables.

Thanks always for taking the time to view my Instructables. Here is one that I entered into a contest, I would appreciate your vote: Blinding Baking Pie Crust [includes pie recipes]

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