Even pasta is better with bacon
Last week we shared a classic recipe that falls right in with the weather we are having. Something cozy that definitely falls in line with comfort food.
With record low temperatures and snow fall, cozy is what we need right about now.
I’ve heard the joke several times now that we start getting snow early around here because of all the people who start decorating early for Christmas.
I am not decorated for Christmas yet, and while I am not casting any stones (or snowballs?) it does make you wonder…
Before you early decorators get upset — I am not about to tell anyone to pack up their early cheer. Leave it out and enjoy it.
Our family has discussed whether or not to jump on the early Christmas train several times lately, we are just undecided.
You may be the reason we have snow, though, and that’s OK. We live in Western New York, so it was bound to happen eventually.
At least the inside decorations look more in season now.
So now that we have snow, and people ready for Christmas, let’s go ahead and dive in to the comfort food, full force.
This recipe happened almost by accident last night.
We had a large supply of bacon due to a special the local grocery store had last week, and since we had already done a breakfast for dinner night over the weekend, I wanted to find another way to incorporate it into our meal.
What better way than pasta.
Before you start wondering if this is actually healthy, I can assure you that there are healthier choices out there.
We paired our pasta dinner with some salad, and next time I make it, I think I’m going to throw in some spinach.
While we had the bacon and a chicken breast on hand, we were limited with our cheese selection and some other ingredients…
On a side note, did anyone else delay their grocery shopping because of Veterans Day?
Having the kids home, I decided to reschedule my normal Monday shopping adventure for a later day in the week.
This led to more creativity, as it usually does.
Which is precisely why I used sprinkle parmesan cheese in lieu of the more intentional shredded parmesan cheese. The kind you typically buy when you are planning to make a recipe that calls for parmesan cheese…
So with that disclaimer, and the next warning that bacon has enough salt — so please don’t add more than a couple of pinches for your own sake — I present to you a quick and cozy dinner that likely tastes different from any bacon dish you’ve tried before.
As always, thanks for reading! Happy cooking from hbk.
Chicken Bacon Pasta
6 bacon strips
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 C. half & half or heavy cream
2 cans, diced tomatoes, no salt added
1/3 C. parmesan cheese
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
¢ tsp. crushed red pepper
Pinch salt, optional
1 box Penne pasta, cooked according to package directions
1. Cook penne according to directions. Start cooking bacon strips in a large skillet on medium heat.
2. Rinse off chicken breast, then pat dry with a paper towel. Season with a sprinkle of each of the seasonings that will be in your pasta — salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and Italian seasoning.
Cut chicken into cubes.
3. Remove bacon from pan when fully cooked, place on a paper towel covered plate and set aside.
4. Remove bacon grease from skillet and add olive oil to pan. Allow to heat up for about one minute on medium heat before adding chicken to skillet.
Brown chicken on each side, stirring for about 7-10 minutes.
5. Add diced tomatoes and half and half to skillet, cook for another 5 minutes.
6. While diced tomatoes and chicken continue cooking, cut bacon into bits.
7. Add bacon bits, parmesan cheese and seasonings to skillet. Stir thoroughly until cheese is incorporated, and then remove from heat.
8. Serve and enjoy! This recipe yields 8-10 portions.