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You'll Make This Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Again and Again
2024/04/10

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Ready in just 45 minutes, this sun-dried tomato pasta is the perfect for busy weeknights! It's filled with tender chicken, sautéed spinach, and a creamy tomato sauce that tastes like it has been cooking all day, thanks to the magic of tomato paste and sun-dried tomatoes. Pair it with a simple green salad and , and you've got a  to please the entire family. Sprinkle generously with parmesan and dinner is served.

What do you need to make sun-dried tomato pasta?

The first thing you need is sun-dried tomatoes. They can be purchased already julienned (sliced) so that prepping ingredients is even more of a breeze! When draining the tomatoes, don't toss the golden olive oil.

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Use it to cook the chicken and the sauce for a hint of fruitiness. After the chicken is cooked, the simple sauce is made with onion, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, tomato paste, , cream cheese, and spinach. While the sauce is cooking, drop some linguine into boiling water. When the pasta is cooked, toss it into the sauce along with the chicken and, of course, parmesan cheese. The creamy sauce is similar to a quick vodka sauce without the booze.

What is special about sun-dried tomatoes?

Sun-dried tomatoes have a concentrated tomato taste. They're tangy, tart, and slightly sweet, and add a serious burst of flavor to all kinds of dishes.

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Keep a jar in your pantry to make this quick and easy pasta dish on the fly!

Do you need to soak sun-dried tomatoes?

You don't need to soak the ones used in this recipe. This pasta dish calls for sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil. This variety is tender and ready to use as soon as you open the jar. Some sun-dried tomatoes come dry-packed and do need to be soaked for a few minutes to plump up and become tender before using. But you'll want to stick with the oil-packed tomatoes here since that delicious oil is also used in the dish.

What is a good substitute for linguine?

If you don't have linguine on hand or prefer to use another pasta, you're in luck! This recipe works wonderfully with other long

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 such as spaghetti, but would be just as good with shorter penne, thick rigatoni, or .

1 1/2 tsp.

kosher salt, divided, plus more for pasta water

1

(7-oz.) jar julienned sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil

1 lb.

boneless skinless chicken breasts

3/4 tsp.

ground black pepper, divided

1/2

medium yellow onion, finely chopped

1

(6-oz.) can tomato paste

3

cloves garlic, chopped 

1 tsp.

lemon zest

1/4 tsp.

red pepper flakes

1 1/2 c.

chicken broth

1 lb.

linguine

4 oz.

cream cheese, cubed

1

(5-oz.) container baby spinach

1 c.

grated parmesan, plus more for serving

Step  1 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes, reserving the oil.

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Step  2 Slice the chicken into 1/2-inch thick slices and season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of sun-dried tomato oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, and cook until lightly golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to a plate.  Step  3 In the same skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of sun-dried tomato oil over medium heat. Add the onion, remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and lightly golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, garlic, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant, 1 minute.

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Whisk in the chicken broth and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer and reduce the sauce by one third, about 10 minutes.  Step  4 Meanwhile, cook the linguine in the boiling water according to package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 ½ cups of pasta water. Step  5 Stir the cream cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach into the tomato sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the cream cheese melts into the sauce and the spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the parmesan, pasta, and cooked chicken, using a pair of tongs to toss. Add about 1/2 cup of pasta water to loosen the sauce. Add more pasta water if needed, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the sauce is smooth. Serve with extra parmesan.

Caitlin Bensel

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