Creamy Chicken, Spinach & Tomato Pasta with Capers & Parmesan

Creamy Chicken, Spinach & Tomato Pasta

with Capers & Parmesan

35 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

In this vibrant pasta dish, we’re bringing together seared chicken and spinach with a rich, creamy sauce, which gets deliciously varied flavors and textures from Calabrian chile paste, roasted red peppers, and briny capers.
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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    770 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
Creamy Chicken, Spinach & Tomato Pasta with Capers & Parmesan
Title
  • 22 oz Chicken Breast Strips
  • ¾ lb Elicoidali Pasta
  • 1 8-Oz Can Tomato Sauce
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 5 oz Baby Spinach
  • ½ lb Grape Tomatoes
  • 2 oz Sliced Roasted Red Peppers
  • 1 Tbsp Capers
  • 1½ tsps Calabrian Chile Paste
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tbsps Tomato Paste
  • 1 oz Butter
  • ½ cup Cream
  • 1 Sweet Onion
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients & start the sauce
1 Prepare the ingredients & start the sauce

Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the tomatoes. Halve, peel, and medium dice the onion. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Roughly chop the peppers. In a bowl, combine the diced onion, chopped garlic, chopped peppers, and capers. In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of water, and as much of the chile paste as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. 

Cook the chicken & tomatoes
2 Cook the chicken & tomatoes

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper. In a large, high-sided pan (or pot), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the halved tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the tomatoes are softened and the chicken is browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a bowl. 

Finish the sauce
3 Finish the sauce

In the pan of reserved fond, heat the butter on medium-high until melted. Add the prepared onion mixture; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Add the tomato paste; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Add the sauce (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring frequently and scraping up any fond, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened. Slowly whisk in the cream. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. 

Cook the pasta
4 Cook the pasta

Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

Finish the pasta & serve your dish
5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked chicken and tomatoes, spinach, finished sauce, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the cheese. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients & start the sauce
1 Prepare the ingredients & start the sauce

Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the tomatoes. Halve, peel, and medium dice the onion. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Roughly chop the peppers. In a bowl, combine the diced onion, chopped garlic, chopped peppers, and capers. In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of water, and as much of the chile paste as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. 

2 Cook the chicken & tomatoes

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper. In a large, high-sided pan (or pot), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the halved tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the tomatoes are softened and the chicken is browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a bowl. 

Cook the chicken & tomatoes
Finish the sauce
3 Finish the sauce

In the pan of reserved fond, heat the butter on medium-high until melted. Add the prepared onion mixture; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Add the tomato paste; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Add the sauce (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring frequently and scraping up any fond, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened. Slowly whisk in the cream. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. 

4 Cook the pasta

Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

Cook the pasta
Finish the pasta & serve your dish
5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked chicken and tomatoes, spinach, finished sauce, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the cheese. Enjoy!

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