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Tuscan Chicken Pasta

Ingredients: 

12 oz. spaghetti or angel hair 

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (approximately 1 1/4 pounds) 

Salt 

Ground pepper 

6 slices bacon 

2 cloves garlic 

2 cups diced tomatoes 

3 cups baby spinach 

1/2 cup heavy cream 

1/3 cup parmesan 

1 teaspoon dried oregano, or Italian seasoning 

Fresh Italian basil, for garnish 

Instructions: 

Begin by boiling a large pot of salted water and cooking the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente, which is to be cooked so as to still be firm when bitten. Once the pasta has cooked, drain it, reserving one cup of the pasta water.   

Next, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. While the skillet and oil are heating up, season the chicken with salt and pepper then cook them on the skillet until they are golden and no longer pink inside. This should take approximately eight minutes per side. Once the chicken is cooked, allow them to cool for approximately 10 minutes then slice them into thin pieces.  

While the chicken is cooling for the 10 minutes, cook the bacon in the same skillet over medium heat until it is crispy, approximately eight minutes. Drain them onto a paper-towel lined plate them chop them and pour off half of the fat from the skillet.  

Next, add the garlic, tomatoes and spinach to the skillet and cook them together over medium heat until they are fragrant, and the spinach is slightly wilted, approximately two minutes. Season the ingredients with salt and pepper then add the heavy cream, parmesan and 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water. Allow it all to simmer for approximately five minutes. Add the dried oregano.  

Once the ingredients have simmered for five minutes, add the cooked pasta and toss it together until it is fully coated. Then, add the chicken and bacon and toss it all together until combined.  

Garnish with basil then serve and enjoy! 

Commentary: 

Italian food is one of my favorite types of food, so I decided to try and make this Tuscan chicken dish myself. It’s fairly easy and inexpensive. This recipe can also be adjusted easily to include more vegetables or to suit your tastes. Mushrooms and onions go well with this recipe and if you’re wanting more veggies, you can add some zoodles to the recipe or mix it with the pasta. You can also substitute the chicken for another meat such as shrimp, which goes well with the Tuscan flavor. 

I also recommend using sun-dried tomatoes and adding some of the sauce if you have it for some extra flavor.  

For those wanting a looser sauce, set aside more of the pasta water and stir in more of the water when needed. 

This recipe yields approximately four small servings, so if you want to make it for more just double or triple it. Additionally, for those that prefer more sauce on their pasta, I would just double, or however much more you want, the sauce portion of the recipe. 

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