Ultra creamy with layers of bewitching flavor, this Sun Dried Tomato Pasta recipe is special enough for a romantic dinner but is so easy, anyone (even my husband) can make it with absolute success.
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 (like this Chicken Pesto Pasta and Ricotta Pasta) taste stunning, like today’s sun dried tomato pasta with chicken.
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 (this Garlic Pasta is another easy peasy recipe to try).
5 Star Review
“Absolutely delicious, my family said it was like restaurant food!”— Kirstie —
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 made me this Balsamic Glazed Salmon.)
Today he’s back with another foolproof dish (and romance tips?) that’s sure to woo your sweetie.
How to Make Sun Dried Tomato Pasta
A Guest Post by Ben Clarke
Gentlemen, before we begin your quest for Mr. Right immortality via this sun dried tomato pasta, I have a confession: 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 (and made me a proper Vegetable Lasagna), so I trust the damage wasn’t permanent.
Fortunately for myself and hapless cooks the world over, treating your special someone to a romantic dinner doesn’t have to require any actual culinary skill. This sun dried tomato pasta recipe—along with a few of my secret tips—will be your guide to success.
- 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 (it’s also used in this Italian Sausage Sun Dried Tomato Pasta). 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. It’s trendy and (allegedly) packed with things like iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin, K, and folate. (If your date is into green stuff, consider this Tuscan Chicken Mac and Cheese for your next date.)
- Heavy Cream. Keep this ingredient to yourself. It will make the pasta taste like Tuscany, but your date will prefer not to know. Accept her praises. Maintain your air of culinary mystery. Women like mysterious.
- Cook the pasta, drain, set aside.
- Melt some butter in a skillet and cook the chicken.
- Add those seductive sun dried tomatoes to the pan with the garlic, oregano, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper and, once fragrant, pour in the wine (but serve some to your date first).
- Once the wine has reduced, remove the pan from the heat and toss in the pasta along with the cream, spinach, and Parmesan.
- Stir everything together until that green stuff is wilted and you, my friend, have just aced this cooking date. ENJOY!
Ben’s Tips for the Ultimate Date Night Experience
Okay, men. 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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
While I have only ever tested this recipe as it is written, other readers have reported swapping the cream for a can of full-fat coconut milk with success. If you choose to experiment with this non-dairy substitution (or others) I’d love to hear your results.
If you only have access to sun dried tomatoes sealed in a pouch, as opposed to packed in a jar with oil, I would suggest rehydrating them in warm water for an hour before adding them to the dish. This ensures the tomatoes will be perfectly tender as opposed to tough or leathery.
If you’d like to make this pasta recipe gluten free, swap the whole wheat pasta for your favorite gluten free pasta variety. As always, be sure to check the labels of your other ingredients to confirm they were processed in a gluten free certified facility and do not contain any gluten-containing additives.
Sun Dried Tomato Pasta
- 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 julienne-cut sun dried tomatoes packed 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 the skillet is hot, add the chicken and cook until lightly 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.
- TO STORE: Sun dried tomato pasta will keep in the refrigerator for 2 days.
- TO REHEAT: Warm gently in the microwave, topped with a little drizzle of chicken stock or heavy cream to keep it from drying out.
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