September 20, 2012

Pasta with Spinach & Chicken

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was recently doing a search on Pinterest for most pinned foods/recipes.  In addition to looking for a new dessert, I wanted to find a new one-pot dish I've never tried before, and I came across this dish.  I read over the ingredients and thought it sounded.....interesting, but also a little odd.  So I moved on and kept looking.  

However, it stuck out in my mind, and in the end I went back to it and read it over again.  It had such rave reviews, so I thought I mine as well give it a try.  Everything sounded good except for the addition of onion and chive cream cheese....that was the one ingredient I was unsure about, and even contemplated omitting.  After reading all the comments I decided to tweak the recipe a bit, but I left in the cream cheese....I figured there must be a good reason it's in there so I was willing to keep an open mind.

All I can say is that I am really glad I found this recipe and that I left the cream cheese in the recipe!  This is one tasty dish - one I will definitely be making again in the future!  Flavorful and comforting, this one-pot dish may even make an appearance when we have company.  I have a few ideas of additional ingredients that I think would be yummy in this dish, but for the most part it really is good just the way it is.  So, don't let the cream cheese freak you out - take the leap of faith and give it a try.  I guarantee you won't be disappointed!

Pasta with Spinach & Chicken

3 cups uncooked rigatoni
2 chicken breasts, cooked & cubed (about 3 1/2 cups)
1 cup chopped onion
1, 14oz can Italian style diced tomatoes, with juice
1, 10oz package frozen spinach, thawed & drained
1, 8oz container onion & chive cream cheese
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 375, and spray an 11x7 baking dish with cooking spray.  Cover the bottom of a small saute pan with olive oil and saute onion on medium-low heat until translucent, then remove from heat and set aside in a large glass bowl.  Meanwhile, in a pot of boiling water, cook the rigatoni until cooked but slightly firm.  Drain and add to the bowl with the onions.

Add the chicken, diced tomatoes, spinach, cream cheese, cottage cheese, garlic, salt & pepper to the onion and rigatoni and stir well to combine.  Dump it all into the baking dish and top with the shredded mozzarella.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then removed foil and bake for another 15 minutes.  

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