Recipe: Chicken and Mini Penne with a Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce

As requested, here’s the recipe for the pasta last night. When I make new things, I like to look at a few different recipes and take my favorite parts from each one and combine it to make my own. I also tend to add a dash of this and that, you know, whatever just feels right at the moment.

Penne pasta (mini or regular size)
Couple of chicken breasts
2-3 cloves of garlic
2-3 shallots (or an onion)
a cup of heavy cream (heavy whipping cream is the same)
a cup of vodka
a can of tomato puree (14 ounces)
red pepper flakes
parmesan cheese
fresh basil leaves

For the garlic bread
Slice up a french baguette, and drizzle with extra virgin with olive oil. Mince up some garlic, mix it up with some melted butter and brush it on the slices. Pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. When you take it out of the oven, sprinkle some parsley on top.

Now to the good stuff –
Mince up the garlic and shallots.

Cut the chicken breasts in slices (against the grain, which means your knife is perpendicular to the lines on the chicken). Salt, pepper, and drizzle the chicken slices with olive oil. Grill on the side until fully cooked. Set aside.

Boil some water for pasta. Cook according to the instructions on box, but do a minute shy of al dente.

In a sauce pan, put an appropriate amount of butter. I’ll leave that up to you. Sautee the garlic and shallots/onion for a few minutes until they’re nicely brown and smells up your kitchen wonderfully. Pour in the vodka, and let it simmer on medium for a few minutes. Then add the tomato puree and mix it up. Let it simmer for a few more minutes. Turn the heat down to low, and add the heavy cream, season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you want it.)

Add in the chicken strips, and let this simmer for about 10 minutes or so until the sauce is reduced and is more of a creamy thicker consistency. Toss in the pasta for a minute or so. Top with parmesan cheese and the basil leaves. And it’s beautiful.

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