Chicken BLT Pasta has the flavors of your favorite sandwich in a quick pasta dish, perfect for busy weeknights.
Author:Aly M. Cleary
Prep Time:15 min
Cook Time:30 min
Total Time:45 minutes
Yield:6 - 8
6 – 8 slices of thick cut bacon (because sometimes bacon just *disappears* during recipe testing)
3 cups of cavatappi pasta (about 3/4 of a 16 oz. box)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 small sweet onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
2 cups of grape tomatoes, halved (about a pint and a half)
1/3 cup of heavy cream
3 cups of baby arugula
2 cups of cubed cooked chicken breast (perfect shortcut – store-bought rotisserie chicken)
1/3 cup of fresh basil, minced, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese, plus more for garnish
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
On a sheet pan lined with foil and a baking rack, place the thick cut bacon and cook for 20 minutes until crisp. Drain on paper towels and dice. Set aside.
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the cavatappi pasta until al dente – about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving some of the pasta water and set aside.
To a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot, add the olive oil. Sauté the diced onion over medium high heat until translucent.
Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.
Add the red pepper flakes, dried oregano, salt and black pepper.
Tumble in the halved grape tomatoes and sauté for another 5 minutes, until the tomatoes start to release their juices.
Add the heavy cream so that it forms a bit of a tomato sauce. If you need to add a bit more liquid, you can add some of the reserved pasta water or a splash or two more of cream.
Add the arugula and while it looks like a lot at first, don’t worry, it will wilt down.
Add the cooked chicken breast, diced cooked bacon and cooked pasta, taking care to toss everything together. To finish, toss once more with the basil and the Parmesan cheese.
When everything is mixed, serve warm with crusty bread and garnished with a bit more basil and Parmesan cheese.