The other night I recreated the first meal that I ever made for my roommates. We'll call a trial, as they took me in from the "streets" as I squatted in friends' apartments after I accepted my full-time job. Once they had this meal (and the wine I brought over!) my spot was secured! The great thing about this meal is you can easily adjust the amount of pasta and veggies to alter the nutritional value and also the amount of servings it makes. The recipe below could serve 8, but in our house 4 hungry people could polish it off!
Creamy Tomato Pasta with Chicken and Veggies
1 pound corkscrew pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups broccoli
1 cup cherry tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, halved, seeded and diced
1/2 cup Neufchatel cheese (regular cream cheese works as well, and sometimes I use an herbed goat cheese)
2 cups pasta sauce (I used a garlic and basil one)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a large pot of water to boil and put in pasta.
While pasta cooks, heat a large nonstick skillet on medium high heat and warm 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook in skillet until done, about 8 minutes. Remove chicken from heat.
When pasta is close to done, add broccoli to same pot and cook about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain both and place aside. Place cherry tomatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven 10 to 15 minutes or until tomatoes are near bursting.
In the large skillet, warm remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add garlic and onion and cook 3 minutes. Add bell pepper and saute additional 3 minutes. Add in cheese and mix until combined. Add in tomato sauce and stir. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in pasta, broccoli and tomatoes and sprinkle parmesan on top. Enjoy!