Creamy Chicken Ricotta

Back at it again with the pasta

Is anybody else still struggling through the time change? The major upside is our office closes at 4 now, so after work I'm able to hit up the gym, run a few errands, make dinner and it's only 7:30 AND it's still light out. Anyways, I've had this ricotta in the fridge that I need to use so pasta was an easy answer. Ethan had just gotten a great deal on chicken from Lucky's  and who couldn't use a little extra protein in their lives - so I decided to throw that in too. 

Side note - look how huge that chicken breast is! 

I have a habit of adding spinach, tomatoes, garlic & onions to pretty much anything I can. I would add mushrooms (my all time favorite) but Ethan absolutely despises them, he even hates the smell when they hit the pan. 

This was a breeze of a recipe, I was powering through everything so quickly that I forgot to stop and take pictures. I know I know, I'm still learning so give me a break here. Essentially just cook up your chicken, sautée your garlic and onions, while all of that is happening cook your pasta. I used mostaciolli, but you could really use anything you have in your pantry. add your tomatoes, then pasta, then spinach until it all comes together.

At this point, you have a few options. 

  1. Add some parmesan cheese & olive oil for an easy good to go
  2. Toss into a bowl & dollop with ricotta mixture 
  3. Blend the ricotta mixture & some pasta water for a creamy pasta
  4. All of the above

I went with option #4. this dish couldn't be easier. I've learned pasta water is a real life savor...especially when your boyfriend is running a late for dinner and you need to freshen it up a bit. but seriously, always keep a little pasta water when you are draining your noodles, you can always add it in when everything starts to get too dry & it helps incorporate the ricotta throughout the whole dish. 

Ingredients

  • 1-2 TB Olive oil
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast (salt & peppered)
  • 3-5 Roma tomatoes
  • 1-2 cups of spinach (or a few handfuls)
  • Pasta of your choosing
  • Grated parmesan
  • Ricotta mixture
    -light ricotta
    -parmesan cheese
    -seasonings (S&P, garlic powder, rosemary)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Dice onion, mince garlic, cube chicken (go ahead and chop of your tomatoes to get all the knife work out of the way)
  2. Add olive oil to a pan and turn to medium heat, once hot add chicken and start cooking through
  3. Add onions & garlic, at this time get your water boiling and cook your pasta
  4. Cook chicken, onions & garlic until fragrant (make sure chicken is fully cooked) and add tomatoes until they soften
  5. Drain your pasta (make sure to save some pasta water!) and add to the pan with spinach
  6. At this point you can start getting a little creative - I added grated parmesan, some pasta water, as well as my ricotta mixture until creamy
  7. Put in a bowl and dollop some more ricotta!

Serve with some garlic Bread or a glass of wine...I opted for a glass of vino (or two).

Source: sliceslicebaby.net/dinners/creamyricottach...

Tortellini Bake

I wouldn't say that I am a big pasta eater, I rarely will go to a restaurant and order a pasta dish. However, that doesn't mean I can't take down a big bowl of noodles.Now, Ethan on the other hand is a big pasta eater, I think he could probably eat variations of pasta every day (as long as there was meat and cheese involved). In order to feed his carb cravings, I tend to make a pasta dish once or twice a week.

I have become of a huge fan of one pot dishes - the only thing that would make them easier would be one of these bad boys.  I mean, a girl can dream. But with or without a gorgeous dutch oven, this meal is practically fool proof. 

Start sauteing the onions & garlic in oil on medium high heat. I love when Ethan is home while I'm starting to cook because this is his favorite smell in the world. 

Toss in your ground turkey (or beef) and season to your liking. For me, that's usually just salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook until browned. 

Add in the diced tomatoes & sauce and get it simmering. 

Stir in the spinach until wilted. At this time feel free to add any more seasonings to your mixture - salt, pepp, garlic seasonings, etc. 

Add in the tortellini and transfer to a baking dish if your pan has hit its limits. Ethan was watching from a far and reminded me..."don't you need to boil that". I just stared at him until he realized I knew what I was doing and went back to his business. Don't be concerned about adding in raw pasta, it will cook in the oven. 

Cover the noodles with mozz, which we already conveniently had shredded from pizza making, and the grated parmesan. Cook for 20-30 minutes with foil on top for the first 10-15. 

Your only job now is to devour! 
We pushed our bellies as far as they could go and still managed to have a decent amount of leftovers - which Ethan gladly ate for lunch the next day. 


Baked Tortellini
- serves around 2-4 people (depending on how much you eat) 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 sweet onion chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey (we get lean 93/7% but feel free to use beef too)
  • 1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes drained
  • 1 14.5oz can of tomato sauce (use any sauce you like)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 package of tortellini
  • Shredded mozzarella and grated parmesan*

*who really even measures their cheese anyways

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Sautee garlic & onions in the olive oil in pan until fragrant
  3. Add in ground turkey and cook until browned (if using beef or fattier turkey make sure to drain most of the grease)
  4. Add in diced tomatoes (drained) and can of tomato sauce
  5. Stir in baby spinach until wilted and let simmer
  6. Turn off heat & add in tortellini and cover with cheese
  7. Transfer to baking dish (or place your pan in oven if large enough). Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes then uncover and bake for another 5-10 until cheese is melted

Time and time again I tell myself that I will just have a bite or a small bowl, but I think I end up eating more than him every single time.