Tuscan Elegance on Your Plate: Heavenly Chicken and Rigatoni Extravaganza

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This masterpiece features succulent boneless, skinless chicken breasts seasoned to perfection, nestled atop rigatoni pasta coated in a creamy sauce infused with spinach, cheese, and tomatoes. Brace yourself for a Tuscan symphony of flavors that transcends ordinary dining experiences.

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Tuscan Elegance on Your Plate: Heavenly Chicken and Rigatoni Extravaganza

Exquisite Ingredients & Artful Substitutions

Chicken:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, approximately 1 pound (about 450g)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Pasta:

  • 8 ounces rigatoni pasta noodles, cooked al dente according to package instructions (about 227g)
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick, 57 g) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup (40 g) finely diced shallot
  • ¼ cup (27.5 g) sun-dried tomatoes, softened in hot water and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups (357 g) heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cups (245 g) milk
  • 1 cup (30 g) fresh spinach
  • 1 cup (100 g) parmesan cheese, grated (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 cup (149 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Tuscan Elegance on Your Plate: Heavenly Chicken and Rigatoni Extravaganza

Softening Sun-Dried Tomatoes: A Preamble of Flavor

Before embarking on the saucy journey, soften and chop the sun-dried tomatoes for a seamless integration into the sauce. Boil them in hot water for approximately 3 minutes, then drain and cool before chopping. Set these flavorful nuggets aside until they dance into the rich Tuscan symphony.

Tuscan Elegance on Your Plate: Heavenly Chicken and Rigatoni Extravaganza

Milk Matters: A Creamy Conundrum

You have the flexibility to use heavy cream alone (3 cups total) in the sauce, omitting the milk. The result is an incredibly rich and creamy texture. However, for a lighter touch without compromising on richness, blending half milk and half cream is a delightful choice. If reheating, opt for a slow, stovetop process to maintain the sauce’s integrity.

Tuscan Elegance on Your Plate: Heavenly Chicken and Rigatoni Extravaganza

Storing the Tuscan Elegance Chicken and Rigatoni Extravaganza

Leftovers of this culinary delight should find a home in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where they can preserve their splendor for up to 3 days. When ready for a second act, gently reheat the pasta either in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Tuscan Elegance on Your Plate: Heavenly Chicken and Rigatoni Extravaganza

Recipe: Crafting Tuscan Elegance Chicken and Rigatoni Extravaganza

Chicken:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over chicken, rubbing it in.
  3. In a small bowl, combine paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle the mixture over the chicken.
  4. In an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Sear the chicken for 3 minutes on each side until browned.
  5. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Set aside.

Pasta:

  1. Cook rigatoni in boiling salted water until al dente (about 14 minutes).
  2. In the same skillet used for chicken, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots and sun-dried tomatoes, cooking until softened (3-5 minutes). Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  3. Add tomato paste, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Pour in heavy cream and milk, stirring to combine.
  5. Add spinach, parmesan cheese, and tomatoes. Toss to combine and simmer until the cheese is melted and spinach is wilted (8-10 minutes).
  6. Add the cooked pasta, toss to coat.
  7. Slice or cube the chicken, adding it to the pasta and sauce.
  8. Serve topped with additional parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tuscan Elegance on Your Plate: Heavenly Chicken and Rigatoni Extravaganza

Immerse yourself in the Tuscan allure with this culinary masterpiece, where each bite is a symphony of flavors harmoniously dancing on your palate!

Tuscan Elegance on Your Plate: Heavenly Chicken and Rigatoni Extravaganza

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