Monday, January 14, 2013

Chicken Penne Rosa

Recently my niece posted a pic on Instagram of her delicious dinner which consisted of a big ol’ plate of rigatoni, swimming in a gorgeous creamy tomato sauce.  Ahhh, to be young and thin with no worries about where those rigatoni noodles will settle (Thighs?  Butt?...)  Anyway, WOW, did it look amazing.  After wiping the drool off my chin, and again cursing the Universe for my slow metabolism, I started to think that there must be a way that I could try to recreate it but in a healthy version – I mean, that’s what I’m doing here, right??
So, I set about looking at different recipes online and after perusing about a bajillion (yes, that’s a real number…) of them, I came up with this guy below.  Guess what I learned?  In order to have a creamy, dreamy sauce to drown your pasta in, you need to add A LOT of cream; which in turn adds A LOT of calories!  What we ended up with below is definitely a healthier dish, maybe not so much similar dish, but it was absolutely fab, with just a little bit of creamy yumminess (enough to feel like it’s bad!) and definitely better on your waistline.
Take that, Universe!
2 T butter
Garlic seasoning, or Italian Seasoning
16oz grilled chicken breast, sliced (I found this great packaged brand in my grocery store by John Soules)
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup dry white wine
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
½ cup petite (or regular) diced tomatoes
½ cup skim milk
½ cup fat free half-and-half
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp dried basil
12 oz. low-carb penne noodles, like Ronzoni Smart Taste

In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium high heat.

Add the chicken and onions sprinkle with seasoning, basically this is to give the chicken a nice little browning on both sides and to soften up the onions.  When the onions are ready, add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute.
Add the wine and simmer, cooking down the liquid until it’s just about evaporated (about 2 minutes).

Add the crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes and stir.  Bring this mixture to a boil and then reduce heat.  You’ll want this to simmer down and thicken a bit.  This will take about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.

To the thickened tomato sauce, add the basil, milk, half-and-half, and Parmesan cheese.  Stir well.

Drain the pasta and add to the sauce.  Stir well to incorporate.

Serve!  I sprinkled a little more basil and red pepper flakes to mine.  Oh MY Goodness – sooo good!

Serves 6 – approximately 1 ½ cups
Calories 438 / Carbs 55g / Fat 10g / Protein 34g / Fiber 9g / Sodium 959mg


  1. Looks great! I will have to give this a try!

    1. Thanks, Katie!! Let me know if you like it!!


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