Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Creamy Tomato Cajun Chicken Pasta

This Valentine's, I was delegated the task of making VDay dinner. (Not sure how that happened)
I figured some kind of pasta would be appropriate for a VDay meal, but spaghetti is too easy and too...blah.  So I searched and searched for some kind of cajun chicken pasta recipe (because that's always my favorite at restaurants), but I could never find one I just absolutely thought sounded delicious. I wanted something with a creamy tomato sauce and none of the ones I came across were actually "creamy" ....they all had big chunks of tomato in them. Yuck. So, I kind of combined different recipes and kind of just winged it. And this is how it turned out:

Here's what you need:

1 box of farfalle (bowtie) pasta
5 skinless, boneless chicken breast tenders
2 tablespoons cajun seasoning
1 red bell pepper
For the sauce:
1-14oz can of tomato soup
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
2 cloves of garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste

Here's how to make it:

Cook the pasta according to box and drain
Cut the chicken tenders into strips
Toss the chicken in the cajun seasoning until fully coated
Julienne the bell pepper*
Saute the chicken for 5-7 minutes on med heat (no pink left)
Toss in the bell pepper strips and saute for another 4-5 minutes

*(For the non-cooking-savvy people like me, julienne = strips)
To make the sauce:
Add the tomato sauce to a saucepan and heat on med heat
Mince your garlic and add to pan
Once this comes to a boil, add the heavy cream
Stir continuously so it doesnt burn
Add salt and pepper to taste
Once heated thoroughly, remove from heat to let thicken
I didn't start my sauce soon enough to have it thicken before serving, so our sauce was a little runny. We also decided the sauce was a little bland and might be better with something such as a red pepper spice to give it a little more flavor.

Pour some sauce over your noodles, add the chicken and peppers, then sprinkle some grated parmesan on top, and voila. Dinner is served.  I also made garlic breadsticks (from the frozen section) and caesar salad (from a bag).

I also made dessert (which I mentioned in my last post but couldn't tell you what it was).
I made none other than the fiance's favorite:
German Chocolate Cake.

I wish I could say I made it from scratch. But all the recipes I found looked way too time consuming and stressful. So I stuck with the box. I cooked it according to instructions, but to keep my cake moist, I always cook it for the least amount of time the box says to.  After cooling, I iced it. I normally just use the German chocolate icing, but since it's not exactly my fave (and we were both eating it for dessert), I also used a tub of milk chocolate icing. I iced the bottom layer and the sides with the milk chocolate, then iced the top with the coconut icing. My type-A personality led me to piping 2 layers of chocolate icing around the outside. Just so it didn't look quite so pathetic.

And there you have it, my "homeade" VDay dinner. Beats going out to eat on such a busy night.
What did you do for Valentine's?

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