I’m just going to flat out state that I am hideously bad at food photography. This photograph does not do this dish justice at all.
Okay, now that we have the ‘stating the obvious’ out of the way, I’d like to introduce you to my very favorite pasta dish in the entire world. Yes, that’s a huge claim. But I do love it so…even more than Alfredo. Which is saying a lot, cause I usually gravitate to the heart attack inducing sauces.
What makes this dish incredible is the balsamic vinegar and the sun dried tomatoes. I can’t really take credit for that part of the recipe – in fact, I totally stole it from an ex-boyfriend from long, long ago. Whose only redeeming quality, in all honesty, was this pasta. And over the years, I’ve tweaked it and made it better – and healthier.
So he can suck it. Just saying.
By the way, this recipe is very flexible. Toss in whatever veggies float your boat. Make if vegetarian (no chicken and sub vegetable broth or white wine for the chicken broth). Switch out the penne with any other hearty pasta. Or omit the pasta entirely. Sprinkle with parmesan instead of feta. Eat it directly out of the pan (I don’t judge).
Mediterranean Pasta Toss
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ yellow onion, chopped
1 cup sweet bell pepper, any color or combination of colors
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup sliced crimini mushrooms
½ cup sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped
½ cup low sodium chicken broth
½ Tablespoon Italian Herb mix
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup dried whole wheat penne pasta
Feta crumbles, for serving
Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, sauté till brown and nearly cooked.
While chicken is cooking, bring pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package instructions till al dente. Drain (reserve a little of the pasta water) and hold.
When chicken is nearly cooked, add onion, tomatoes (both cherry and sun dried), bell pepper, and mushrooms. Sauté vegetables, adding chicken broth as necessary to deglaze pan.
When vegetables are tender, add Italian herbs. Mix well, then add balsamic vinegar. Allow the vinegar to reduce for a few minutes, stirring often. The balsamic will become sweet and sticky and will coat the chicken and vegetables.
Add the drained pasta to the chicken and vegetable mixture. Toss to coat the pasta, adding hot pasta water if necessary.
Serve topped with feta crumbles and cracked black pepper.
Serves 3 (all nutrition info calculated without cheese)
Fiber: 4 grams
Fat: 6 grams
Protein: 24 grams