This Chicken Penne Alfredo is simple, versatile and delicious. It goes together in under an hour and costs just a couple of dollars per serving. Really, what's not to love about this recipe?
What is this?
We were in Chicago this past weekend and spent some time visiting the Italian food superstore, Eataly. Billed as the largest Italian marketplace in the world, it is owned by a couple of famous Italian chefs (Mario Batali, being one) and occupies a space of 23,000 square feet. I love Mario, I love Italian food and wine and I love food markets. Yet I was a bit overwhelmed in Eataly.
Still, we walked out with a few different kinds of pasta, some olive oil and some balsamic vinegar, all from Italy. Among the types of pasta we brought home was a bag full of beautiful penne, the long cylinder-shaped pasta that can be used in so many dishes.
By the grace of God, I almost never eat alfredo dishes. I have never made my own alfredo sauce but when I did a little reading on the topic, it looked pretty easy. And delicious. Almost all of the alfredo dishes call for canned alfredo sauce. After learning how simple it is to make, I could only ask, "Why would you do that?!"
Afredo sauce ingredients
- Cream (use milk for a lighter version.)
- Salt & Pepper
Many people use Parmesan cheese in their alfredo sauce but I wanted to pack some extra flavor into mine and so I used some Pecorino Romano, the hard and salty Italian cheese that's made out of sheep's milk and often used for grating. It seemed to be a good choice. The boys devoured this Chicken Penne Alfredo and Scott even had a second helping. That does not happen every day at our dinner table.
As I mentioned earlier, this Chicken Penne Alfredo recipe is not just delicious, it's also versatile. Play around with cheese flavors for the alfredo sauce and use the one that suits your palate the best. Go light with the cream if you wish and substitute with milk instead. In lieu of chicken, you could use shrimp as the protein. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination. Pick up a bag of penne today and then make this Chicken Penne Alfredo for dinner tonight. -Dan
Chicken Penne Alfredo
- 1.5 lbs boneless chicken brest diced into ½ inch cubes
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 sweet bell pepper red, yellow, or orange, fine dice
- 1 shallot fine dice
- 3 cloves garlic thin slice
- 4 oz Prosciutto fine dice
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 5 oz Pecorino Romano cheese grated
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper fresh ground
- 1 tsp cruhed red pepper flakes
- 1 lb penne pasta
- 2 tbsp pine nuts toasted
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley fine chop
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Then, place olive oil in skillet and heat on medium setting. Add chicken and cook and stir until done, about 7 - 10 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside, drain if necessary.
- In dutch oven or oven-proof skillet, melt butter over medium-high setting. Add sweet pepper, shallot, garlic and Prosciutto. Sautée until pepper and shallot are soft.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add cream and grated cheese to vegetables. Add salt and pepper and red pepper flakes and stir constantly until sauce thickens slightly and cheese is melted. Reduce heat to low.
- Prepare penne pasta as directed, cooking to slightly less than al dente. Drain pasta, do not rinse, and add to alfredo sauce, in dutch oven or oven-proof skillet. Stir well.
- Top with toasted pine nuts, fresh parsley, and grated Parmesan. Place in oven, uncovered and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately.