Tag Archives: Pasta

Chicken Pasta with a Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Sauce


I pulled out one of my old Cookbooks and turned to one of my favorites. It is a easy and tasty recipe.

**Update: I was posting this to main dishes under recipes and I already posted this recipe. I even checked the list. Oh well, it may be a little different and it shows you I really like it!

7This is a great cookbook. It has a lot of delicious recipes in it. My favorite cookbooks tend to be from Junior Leagues. They seem to have a variety of recipes. Here is my slightly altered version.

Chicken Past with a Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

  • 2 tsp. Extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 – 6 shallots, minced
  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast or tenders, cooked and julienned **
  • 8 oz jar Sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained***
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 16 oz. penne pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • 3 – 4 Tablespoons julienned fresh basil ( I have used dried when fresh is not available)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper

Get the penne started in boiling salted water. Cook until it is al dente. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet at medium heat. Add shallots and saute for around 2 minutes or until soft. Add the cooked chicken and sun-dried tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in Cream. Start with 1 cup and add more if needed. I used approximately a heavy 1 1/4 cups. Add Salt, red pepper flakes and pinch of pepper. Cook an additional 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. If my pasta is not done at this point, turn down the heat;  put a lid on the skillet that is slightly vented to keep warm. Toss pasta with butter You could skip this if you are watching your figure 😉 Then toss in pasta, Parmesan cheese and basil. Serve immediately top each plate of pasta with Parmesan, if desired. This will serve 6 -8.

**I sprinkle the chicken with an Italian seasoning blend, Tuscan Sunset from Penzey Spices.  You could use any Italian seasoning blend. Then put it in a covered glass casserole and microwave until done.

***I LOVE LOVE Sun- dried tomatoes. They are packed with flavor. I usually use the ones that are not packed in oil, but I really think using the oil packed in this recipe is the best. I used the ones that are packed in oil, julienned and with Italian Seasonings.

Look at the pile of yummy goodness!

Look at the pile of yummy goodness!

Saute the shallots in olive oil.

Saute the shallots in olive oil. Saute until soft.

Add chicken and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes.

Add chicken and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes.

Add cream; cook additional 2 minutes.

Add cream, salt and peppers; cook additional 2 minutes. Toss pasta with butter; then with sauce, Parmesan cheese and basil.

Chicken Pasta with Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

Chicken Pasta with Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

I served this with Roasted Broccoli. You can click to view the recipe. Grace is my broccoli eater and I think she could eat the whole bowl 😉

Sundried tomato pasta and broc

I am trying a few new snack recipes tomorrow for Bunco. I will post them if they are keepers 😉

Have a great weekend!

~Relish Food & Life!


Chicken with Tomatoes and Garlic and Upside-Down Cinnamon-Apple Coffee Cake


I was hungry for Chicken and garlic. I search and found 2 recipes I wanted to make. This is what I picked, Pioneer Woman’s Chicken with Tomatoes and Garlic. It was YUMmmy!

Chicken with Tomatoes and Garlic

  • 8 pieces Chicken Legs Or Thighs ( I used 4 thighs and 4 Breast)
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 3 4 T Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 2 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 can (14  28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes
  • 2 3 Tablespoons (Heaping) Tomato Paste
  • Fresh Herbs: Basil, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary ( I used Basil and Parsley)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 8 11 cloves Garlic I ♥ Garlic 🙂
  • 16 ounces, weight Pasta
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese, For Serving
  • ½ 3/4 cups White Wine (or Red Wine) ( I used White)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Salt and pepper chicken legs.

Heat ovenproof skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and butter. When oil/butter is hot, add chicken legs to the pan. Using tongs, brown on all sides, about 2 minutes. Remove chicken from pan.

Pour in wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any bits. Cook for 1 minute. Pour in tomatoes with their juice and add tomato paste. Add salt and red pepper flakes to taste, stirring to combine. Bring sauce to a boil, then turn off heat. Add basil and parsley, Garlic cloves that have been peeled (but whole) garlic, and the chicken. Put lid on pot and cook in the oven for 1 hour.

Remove pot from oven and allow it to sit on the counter with the lid on while you boil the pasta.

Cook the pasta to al dente, Drain and add to a large serving bowl.

Remove lid and check sauce. If it’s overly thin(mine was perfect) if not, remove the chicken from the pot and boil the sauce on the stove top for 5 to 10 minutes. Check seasonings and adjust as needed.

To serve, pour sauce over cooked pasta, then arrange chicken pieces over the top. Sprinkle generously with fresh Parmesan and serve with crusty French bread.

Ingredient line up minus the chicken.

Salt and pepper the chicken.

Melt butter with the olive oil and then add the chicken.

Brown on both sides, then put them on a plate.

Add wine to pot to deglaze the pan. This will loosen up all the yummy stuff on the bottom of the pan.

Add tomatoes with their juices and tomato paste. Add salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Stir to combine.

Bring to a boil.

This is the amount of basil and parsley I used.

Add chicken, herbs and garlic to the pot.

Cover. Pop into the oven. Bake for 1 hour.

Oh yeah, that smells awesome!

I served this over pasta. I re-read her recipe today and she also suggest serving it with mashed potatoes. I wish I would have served it with mashed potatoes.. I love tomato gravy on mashed potatoes. Mark commented that you really do not need the pasta. The tomato sauce was sooo good.

Another great dish from PW. This dish may look difficult, but it was really easy. Perfect for when company is coming over. You pop it in the oven and forget about it.

I found this next recipe on Pillsbury.com. I was looking for something quick and yummy. This was both of them. I took it to a dinner party. I made 2 because I knew Grace would be giving me grief about not leaving some at home. She loved it. I was afraid she was going to eat the whole thing before we even left!

Upside-Down Cinnamon-Apple Coffee Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped peeled apples ( I used Granny Smith)
  • 1  (12.4-oz.) can Pillsbury® Refrigerated Cinnamon Rolls with Icing
  • 1/2  cup pecan halves or pieces
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • My addition: splash of vanilla

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch glass pie pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread 1 cup of the apples in sprayed pan.  Separate dough into 8 rolls. Cut each roll into quarters; place in large bowl. Add remaining 1/2 cup apples and pecans.  In small bowl, combine margarine, brown sugar, vanilla and corn syrup; mix well. Add brown sugar mixture to dough mixture; toss gently to combine. Spoon mixture over apples in pan.  Bake at 350°F. for 28 to 38 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Invert onto serving platter. Remove lid from icing. Microwave icing on HIGH for 10 to 15 seconds or until of drizzling consistency. Drizzle over warm coffee cake. Serve warm.

Ingredient line up minus vanilla

Cut cinnamon roll into fourths. My sister-in-law suggested maybe cutting them into eighths. Easier to pop into your mouth 😉

Spread one cup of apples into the prepared dish.

Combine the remaining apples, pecans and cut cinnamon rolls.

Mix together melted butter, corn syrup, vanilla and brown sugar.

Add brown sugar mixture to dough mixture; toss gently to combine.

Spoon mixture over apples in pan. Pop into the oven.

Remove from the oven when done. Let it cool for 5 minutes.

Invert onto a platter.

Heat icing in the microwave and drizzle onto the coffee cake.

I search high and low in my kitchen for some caramel syrup, none to be found 😦 I thought that might be a tasty addition to this. As you can see, it is kind of like a pull apart bread. We served it warm with ice cream. I can say, it was mighty tasty cold the next morning 😉

This dish is perfect for a brunch!

What are you making for Easter? I am in charge of Salad, I will be making my favorite springtime salad, Strawberry Blueberry Romaine Salad.

Happy Easter Everyone!

~Relish Life & Food!

Chicken with Pepperoni – Marinara Sauce


Wow, what a crazy busy 3 weeks! Sorry for the delay in posting. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I know I did….love spending time with family and friends.

I have been under the weather the past week. Last night I was wanting to cook something simple. This was super easy and very tasty.

I found this recipe in Jan/Feb 2012 Cooking Light magazine.

Chicken with Pepperoni-Marinara Sauce

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 Teaspoons  3 cloves minced fresh garlic
  • 16 slices pepperoni, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon 1 heaping Tsp.  dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups 24 oz Jar lower-sodium marinara sauce (such as McCutcheon’s) ( I used Paul Newman’s Marinara sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil   2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken cutlets
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese Fresh mozzarella slices

1. Preheat broiler to high.

2. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add garlic and pepperoni; cook 2 minutes or until garlic begins to brown, stirring frequently. Add oregano; cook 30 seconds. Add marinara sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in basil.

3. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with pepper. Add chicken to skillet; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, turning after 3 minutes. Spoon sauce over chicken; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

Jill’s Notes: I did not have fresh basil or the mozzarella they suggested. I think if you have either of these the dish would taste just as good.  I also upped the oregano, sauce and garlic a bit.

Ingredient Line up minus garlic - I always forget something.

I sprayed the pan with cooking spray and added the minced garlic and chopped pepperoni. Saute.

Add oregano.


Add marinara sauce. I added some water to the jar to get out every bit of sauce.

I really do not know what it means by Chicken cutlets. I looked at various stores and found these thinly sliced chicken breast and decided that would do 😉 After starting the recipe, It thought it might be tasty breaded. So, I breaded a few and just peppered the others. You do not need to salt the chicken. The sauce will have plenty salt in it from the pepperoni.

All ready to bread the chicken with Italian Seasoned Panko crumbs and egg.

Get your pan hot. Add oil. Swirl to coat and add chicken.

Cook; Flip and cook until done.

Pour sauce over chicken. Top with mozzarella cheese. Put under broiler until cheese is melted.

Chicken with Pepperoni - Marinara Sauce served with fettucine.

After the taste test…Grace liked the chicken breaded. I liked it both ways and Mark liked it without the breading. You really cannot go wrong. It is very tasty, kid friendly and tasted great again today for lunch 🙂

We have had some young people pass away the last month. My heart breaks for their families. It is a reminder that we need to relish life.

~Relish Food & Life!

When the moon hits your eye like a big “PASTA PIE” That’s amore!


I know it is supposed to be Pizza Pie, but we were having Pasta Pie! I had the song blaring from the computer when we sat down to eat…I don’t think my family appreciated my singing or the song 😦 BUT, they did love my big Pasta Pie 🙂

I did not think this recipe was going to turn out tonight…but it was a false alarm. It turned out great. I believe this recipe originally came Martha Stewart. I found it on Pinterest, which lead me to Noble Pig website. I added a few ingredients.

  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 2 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper ( I don’t understand why they said 1/4 tsp…because directions said 1 tsp of salt and pepper and that is what I did)
  • 1 can (28 ounces) good quality crushed tomatoes
  • Butter, for pan
  • Salt
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces coarsely grated mozzarella ( I used a packaged of a  combination of Italian cheeses)
  • I added a pinch of red pepper flakes, tsp of dried oregano and basil. I also added about 2 T of fresh basil…because I have it in my herb garden.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until slightly underdone (I cooked mine for 1 or 2 minutes less than what the package stated).  One pound of pasta should be cooked in 6 quarts of water, make sure you are using a big enough pot so the pasta doesn’t stick together.  When done, rinse in cold water and drain again.  Toss pasta with 1 Tablespoon olive oil to coat.  Set aside.

Heat remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add ground beef.  Cook, stirring occasionally until browned.  Add garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper (and  red pepper flakes, dried oregano and dried basil) Cook 2 minutes more.

Add crushed tomatoes; simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes. Stir in fresh basil (if you have it)

Toss pasta with Parmesan cheese.  Butter a 9-inch springform pan.  Tightly pack pasta into pan, standing each piece on end.  Spread meat sauce on top of pasta.

This was the tricky part! Push the meat sauce into the pasta holes filling each one up.  (I think my rigatoni had small holes…that is where I began to panic and I felt like I did not have enough pasta….Mark thought of a great idea to help me with that. You will see it in the photos)

Place in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Sprinkle mozzarella ( or Italian Blend) cheese on top and bake another 10-15 minutes until cheese is golden.  Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge to loosen, unfasten and remove ring.

Cut into wedges and serve.

Ingredient Line Up.

Boil pasta in salted water.

Brown beef in 1 T olive oil.

LOVE! Local Beef!

After meat is brown. Add garlic and sautéed it for a minute.

Add seasonings and sautéed for another minute. Then add crushed tomatoes (I forgot to take a photo of that)

Toss drained and rinsed pasta with olive oil.

Toss with parmesan cheese.

HERE IS THE TRICKY PART! In a buttered 9″ springform pan stack the noodle standing on their ends. I did not have enough pasta, nor do I think my rigatoni was as big as the rigatoni the Noble Pig used. You need to check out their photo on the website.  Do they have different sizes of rigatoni? I started panicking because I thought I needed more and how in the world was I going to get that meat sauce in those holes!

Mark came up with the brilliant idea to put a tomato in the center. I could have used a bigger tomato, but it worked. He ate the tomato and said it was awesome. He said I should have added a few more tomatoes. I think that is a great idea! He didn't share! Make sure and put pan on a cookie sheet. Mine leaked a little.

Now comes the problem of getting the sauce in the holes. I just tried to push it down between the noodles instead of inside the noodles. Amazingly, I think some of it did get inside the holes.

There was so much still left on top. I thought there would hardly be anything inside or between the noodles. So I said a prayer and popped it in the oven.

Baked it for 15 minutes. Removed it from the oven.

Added cheese to the top. Said a prayer. Baked additional 10 minutes. Removed it from the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes. Run knife around edges. Unfasten and remove sides.

Drum roll please….

Pasta Pie! That's Amore!

It was very good!

I  realized after the girls stuffed the leftovers  into a container… that I failed to take a photo of my perfect slice of Pizza Pie on my plate. I even wiped off a drip on the plate. I had it looking good. That’s Amore was playing. I was trying to sing. I couldn’t wait to taste it… we all prayed and dug in. You will just have to take my word, it was pretty and yummy!

~Relish Food & Life