Sensational stove-top spicy garlic chicken pasta

Do you love Goliath’s Christmas torture device (aka jingle bell collar)?

I’ve been overrun with recipes and craft projects over the last couple months. What is to blame? Pinterest, of course. Pinterest and all of its pretty, pretty pictures!

Although a time suck that fills me with wist for the wardrobe and home decor I will never have (waa), Pinterest does keep me supplied with tasty ideas for dinner (to see them, click here). And lunch. And parties. And dessert. Sigh.

Inspired by this Buca di Bepo Spicy Chicken Rigatoni knock off, I created a slightly lower-cal version. Slightly. And, I add bacon. Mmmhmm.

N.S.F.D. ranking: ** (Depending on type of cream used and the presence of bacon.)

2 chicken breasts, sliced
2 slices bacon or a couple teaspoons olive oil
8-10 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
2 cups (or so) marinara sauce
1/2 cup (or so) regular or fat-free half-and-half (or cream)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
2 handfuls leafy greens, sliced or torn (spinach, kale, collards)
1 lb pasta (rigatoni, penne, shells), cooked according to package directions

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon until done, remove and drain on paper towel, saving the drippings (or heat up the olive oil)
2. In the same skillet, saute garlic and red pepper flakes until fragrant, give or take a minute (Keep it moving, you do not want burnt garlic)
3. Add chicken slices and saute 2-3 minutes
4. Add marinara, bring to a bubble, then add cream or half-and-half. When bubbling, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Somewhere in there add your leafy greens and let ’em wilt.
6. Turn off the heat, add parmesan and stir until melted.
7. Add hot pasta and stir to coat.
8. Top with crumbled bacon.

– The original recipe called for 1/2 cup alfredo sauce. To save calories (and because I didn’t have any on hand), I did an alfredo “deconstruction” with two of the main ingredients- cream and parmesan.

– The leafy greens are hardly noticeable and do not detract from the yummy spicy creaminess of the dish. I used organic red kale. Surely that makes up for the half-and-half.

– Reheats well!


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