Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Italian Chicken Pasta Toss

This pasta creation was inspired by the angel hair pasta dish at The Cheesecake Factory that I absolutely love.  I haven't had it in far too long, so this recipe I'm sure doesn't taste much like the actual dish-but it is really yummy anyway!

Italian Chicken Pasta Toss
Serves 4

3  chicken breasts
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 box angel hair pasta-cooked to al dente
Italian dressing packet, prepared
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 can quartered artichoke hearts in water, drained
2 tsp italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp freeze dried chives (or fresh-I had dried so that's what I used)
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 Tbsp dried basil
fresh parmesan to top off the dish

Cook your chicken in a skillet with ~2 tsp olive oil.  I added the garlic and about 1/2 tsp of the italian seasoning onto the chicken about 3 minutes before it was done cooking.  Heat your water and cook your pasta while the chicken is cooking to save time.

Chop the tomatoes and halve the quartered artichoke hearts and set aside in a bowl.  Prepare the italian dressing as directed.  I used olive oil and apple cider vinegar.  Cut the chicken into nice, bite size pieces and add to the vegetables along with the garlic from your skillet.

Rinse the angel hair pasta in cold water and find a big bowl to put it in.  Add the chicken, artichoke hearts, and the tomatoes to the pasta.  Sprinkle the italian seasoning, chives, oregano, and basil onto the dish-then pour the dressing on and stir it all up!  Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.

When ready to serve, plate the dish into a nice pasta bowl and grate some fresh parmesan cheese on the top!

Letting the pasta sit for that additional hour really lets all the flavors mesh together.  You can serve this dish as soon as you mix it up, since the pasta is already cold from the running water, but I like to let it sit and I also think it tastes better a little colder.

This is a fantastic summer dish.  It is so easy to make and can be completely ready in less than 15 minutes.  You can't beat that!

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