Do you crave the rich flavors of the Mediterranean but want a quick and easy dish to satisfy your appetite? Look no further than this Creamy Chicken Pasta with Artichoke Hearts. It’s a perfect blend of tender chicken, tangy artichoke hearts, and creamy sauce that will transport your taste buds straight to the Mediterranean coast. Whether you’re a busy parent or a gourmet enthusiast, this recipe is a breeze to follow and will leave you craving more. Let’s dive into the culinary magic.
For the Pasta:
- 8 ounces (about 2 cups) of penne pasta
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the Creamy Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to your spice preference)
- 1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
- Fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Grated Parmesan cheese
Step 1: Prepare the Pasta and Chicken
- Cook the penne pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, season the chicken breasts with salt and black pepper.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for about 6-7 minutes per side, or until they are cooked through and no longer pink in the center. Remove the chicken from the skillet and let it rest for a few minutes. Then, slice it into thin strips.
Step 2: Prepare the Creamy Sauce
- In the same skillet, add the butter and minced garlic. Sauté for about a minute, until fragrant.
- Pour in the heavy cream and chicken broth, stirring to combine. Allow the mixture to simmer gently for about 2-3 minutes.
- Gradually whisk in the grated Parmesan cheese until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
- Stir in the dried basil, dried oregano, and red pepper flakes. Adjust the spice level to your liking.
- Gently fold in the quartered artichoke hearts and sliced chicken. Allow the mixture to simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes to heat the artichoke hearts and chicken through.
Step 3: Combine and Serve
- Add the cooked penne pasta to the skillet with the creamy sauce, chicken, and artichoke hearts. Toss everything together until the pasta is well coated with the sauce.
- Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is heated through.
Step 4: Garnish and Enjoy
- Serve your creamy chicken pasta with artichoke hearts hot, garnished with freshly chopped basil leaves and an extra sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.
- Pair it with a crisp green salad or some garlic bread for a complete Mediterranean-inspired meal.
Variation: Mediterranean Veggie Twist
For a vegetarian twist on this Mediterranean delight, omit the chicken and add a medley of sautéed vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes. You’ll still get the creamy, tangy flavors with a burst of Mediterranean freshness.
In conclusion, this Creamy Chicken Pasta with Artichoke Hearts is a delightful journey to the Mediterranean without leaving your kitchen. With its creamy sauce, tender chicken, and the unique tang of artichoke hearts, it’s a dish that’s both comforting and exotic. So, whip up this easy recipe and savor the flavors of the Mediterranean on your plate tonight. Buon appetito!