I don’t have time for crazy complicated on weeknights anymore. I mean, I kind of do, but my pregnant-lazy manifests itself in a required rest period after work before I move on to other work and/or cooking dinner, and God help us all if I have an event after work, which I do about 4 nights per week.
So, we have to speed things up. I like meals that I maiiiinnly make, but with some storebought ingredients that I don’t think I could make better, and that I CERTAINLY couldn’t make faster.
So we are using storebought Alfredo sauce. Which is perfect because traditional Alfredo is just butter and garlic and parm, right? And then we jacked it up with cream, and NOTHING wrong with that, but since there really isn’t an agreed upon method for cooking the sauce, storebought stuff is just great. Mine is local and fresh and amazing. It’s from Naked Pasta right here in Greenville. Those dudes make pastas, sauces, and accompaniments to tie everything together. My new fav Farmer’s Market thing is a few sauces and pasta that I can “cook” with fresh veggies and toppings and protein. So that’s what this is! We’re cooking, and using someone else’s sauce.
You need some kind of long pasta as your base. Then some pretty peppers – these are local cubanelle’s, but any kind of mild pepper is great, even bell peppers! Grab garlic, a chicken breast, a tomato, parmesan, and the all-important Alfredo sauce, about a cup, maybe a little more.
While you cook the sauce, boil the pasta to al dente, and right before you drain it reserve a big mug of the cooking water – we’ll use that to thin out the sauce later. Then, heat a large skillet to medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the chicken, and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. This chicken breast was about 8 ounces, which I think is more than enough for 4 portions of dinner. But, add more if you’d like!
Use tongs to toss everything together, and just keep adding a little bit more cooking liquid at a time until the sauce has thinned enough to coat all the pasta. Taste it, and add salt and pepper if you think it needs it.
Oh. Hell. Yeah.
The key here of course is to start with an Alfredo sauce that you actually like, and there are some great ones in grocery stores. If you live in Greenville, though, GET NAKED and fall in love with these sauces, which I am clearly promoting FOR FREE just because I like their products a lot. Seriously.
- 10 ounces spaghetti, cooked to al dente, 1 cup of cooking water reserved right before draining
- 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, 8 ounces or so
- olive oil, salt, and pepper
- 2 cubanelle or other mild peppers, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 cup prepared alfredo sauce
- 1 roma tomato, chopped
- parmesan cheese, for topping
- Preheat a large skillet to medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for about 6 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through. Remove to a plate to let cool. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces, reserving any juice that collects on the plate.
- When the chicken is out of the pan, add the peppers to the same skillet with another drizzle of oil. Cook for 2 minutes until browned but not soft, then add the garlic. Stir, and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the cooked spaghetti, Alfredo sauce, shredded chicken, and 1/2 the tomatoes to the skillet with a splash of the cooking water. Toss everything together gently with tongs, adding more cooking water as needed to coat the pasta with the sauce. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve the pasta topped with the remaining tomatoes and a sprinkle of parmesan. Enjoy!