CHICKEN AND BACON PASTA WITH SPINACH AND TOMATOES IN GARLIC CREAM SAUCE

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INGREDIENTS :

2 tbsp olive oil
1 pound chicken (chicken breasts or tenderloins)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp Italian seasoning (thyme, oregano, basil – combined)
5 tomatoes (medium, chopped in large cubes)
1 c spinach cooked
5 garlic cloves minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, crushed
6 bacon strips, COOKED, DRAINED OF FAT, AND CHOPPED
1 1/3 c half and half
1 1/3 c Parmesan cheese, shredded
10 ounces penne pasta (for a gluten-free version, use gluten-free brown-rice penne)
1/2 c Parmesan cheese, shredded, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS :

Step 1: Place a large skillet on the stove and turn the heat to high.

Step 2: Add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and allow it to become hot.

Step 3: Add the chicken and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle Italian seasoning on top, then flip to cook the other side for another minute.

Step 4: Turn the heat down to medium and cook the chicken on both sides for a few more minutes until brown.

Step 5: Remove from the pan and place the chicken on a clean plate, then cover.

Step 6: In the same pan, add the garlic, chopped tomatoes, crushed pepper, spinach, 1/2 of the crispy bacon, and 1/3 of the chicken. Stir until well combined.

Step 7: Add in half&half and allow the mixture to boil.

Step 8: Reduce the heat and add in the shredded Parmesan cheese. Stir until well mixed and melted.

Step 9: Remove from the heat and add in the salt and crushed red pepper.

Step 10: Cook the pasta according to the directions provided on the package. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Step 11: Toss in the al dente pasta into the sauce. Add the rest of the bacon as well as the rest of the chicken sliced into thin pieces.

Step 12: Top with a generous amount of Parmesan cheese.

Step 13: Serve and enjoy!

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