Whenever I’m tempted to take an ego trip, I need only remind myself that one of the all-time most popular recipes on my blog was written by… my husband. Despite his lack of kitchen prowess (or perhaps because of it), the man has a way of making simple recipes taste stunning, like today’s Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta. Ultra creamy with layers of bewitching flavor, this chicken pasta recipe is special enough for a romantic dinner, but is so easy, a man who rarely cooks can make it with absolute success.
The alternative title of this post was “Idiot Proof Date Night Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta,” a name Ben embraced with surprising gusto. While he has many wonderful qualities, basic culinary skills don’t happen to be any of them. Fortunately for the two of us, today’s sun dried tomato pasta requires little beyond an ability to stir.
Although Ben rarely cooks, Valentine’s Day is an exception. Every year, he makes the two of us a memorable meal. Last Valentine’s, he shared his go-to romantic dinner recipe, Balsamic Glazed Salmon, in a special guest post. It was such a hit, I thought it would be a fun tradition to repeat. Today he’s back with another foolproof dish that’s sure to woo your sweetie: sun dried tomato pasta. I asked him to keep the sports analogies to a tolerable level this year—let’s see if he obliged.
How to Woo with Pasta: Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta
A Guest Post by Ben Clarke
Gentlemen, before we begin your quest for Mr. Right immortality, I have a confession that, while humbling, is critical to your grasp of this sun dried tomato pasta. The first meal I ever made for Erin was a frozen Stouffer’s lasagna (that may or may have still been cold in the middle). She was surprisingly gracious and later married me, so I trust the damage wasn’t permanent. But I’ve since learned a few tricks to up my dinner game to be smoother than “The Q-Tip.” This does not, however, mean that I’ve learned to cook.
Fortunately for myself and hapless cooks the world over, treating your special someone to a romantic dinner doesn’t require actual culinary skill. This sun dried tomato pasta recipe—along with a few of my secret tips—will be your guide.
First, ingredients. We’re going to buy a few things. Then heat them together in a pan. Then it will turn into sun dried tomato pasta. I know this. Now you know this. Your date does not need to know this. Put on your white apron and, as my hockey coach always instructed after scoring a goal: “Act like you’ve done it before.”
Key Ingredients in Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta
- Pasta: Go for bowties. They’re a gentleman’s pasta. (I’m told they’re also called “farfalle.” I’m skeptical.)
- Sun Dried Tomatoes: Do you see that little red jar? It’s your new best friend. Open the jar, add it to the pan, and your chicken pasta will taste like you were just chillin’ with Giada. Don’t let your date think that.
- Wine: A few splashes for the pasta. Some for you and your date. More for you and your date. Still more.
- Spinach: Women like this.
The final ingredient: heavy cream. Keep this ingredient to yourself. It will make the pasta taste like Tuscany, but your date will prefer not to know how. Accept her praises. Maintain your air of culinary mystery. Women like mysterious.
Tips for the Ultimate Date Night Experience
While this sun dried tomato pasta will bring you the ultimate date-night dinner win, with a few extras, you can take your date to a level of romance she has yet only envied.
- While the pasta cooks, throw around a few well-timed culinary terms. When the pasta is done, say “al dente.” When you add the wine, “deglaze.” When she kisses you in gratitude, “Boo-yah!” Though personal research has proven that may not be warmly received. Come back for next year’s guest post, and maybe I’ll have learned a few more.
- Grate fresh Parmesan cheese tableside. This date is all about service.
- Background music. “The Way You Look Tonight” = yes. “Get Low” = prepare to dine alone.
- Wear an apron. Women appreciate gender-role reversal, and don’t appreciate a giant heavy cream splash on your shirt.
More Date Night Pasta Recipes
- Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese
- Chicken Broccoli Ziti
- Garlic Shrimp Pasta
- Baked Shrimp Scampi
- Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Sausage and Spinach
- Lemon Shrimp Pasta with Asparagus
- Creamy Chicken Bacon Pasta
Easy Chocolate Dessert Recipes to Serve After This Pasta
- Instant Pot Cake
- Flourless Chocolate Torte
- Chocolate Mug Cake
- Easy Chocolate Dessert Lasagna
- Chocolate Covered Pretzels with Peppermint
- Easy Chocolate Crescents
You’ve got this! With this creamy pasta recipe as your new signature move, the V in “Valentine’s” is for victory. If you’re adventurous, make an easy chocolate dessert.
Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken
- 8 ounces whole wheat pasta any shape you like (recommended: bowtie or linguini)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 jar julien-cut sun dried tomatoes in olive oil (7 ounces) drained
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus additional for cooking the pasta
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio or low sodium chicken stock
- 2/3 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
- 2 cups baby spinach
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Sprinkle in a few teaspoons of salt, then add the pasta and cook according to package directions, just until al dente (lightly firm and chewy, but not hard). Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Once skillet is hot, add the chicken and cook until light golden brown on all sides, about 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low, then add the drained sun dried tomatoes, garlic, oregano, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the wine and for cook 2 minutes, until the liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
- To the skillet, add the whipping cream, then the pasta, spinach, and 1/2 cup Parmesan. Stir for 30 seconds to allow the spinach to cook down. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese and serve.
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