Fratelli Perata Winery

Chicken and Bacon with Pasta, Tomatoes, and Spinach in Garlic Cream

All of our favorites come together in this recipe; chicken, tomatoes, spinach, Parmesan, and of course, bacon. Smother all of that in some garlic cream sauce, pair with a little Sangiovese and we’re smitten. Tomato and Parmesan, of course are hits, with the acid and fruit in the Sangiovese, but the bacon adds the meaty salty flavor that takes it over the top. Good for any crowd, or a crowd of two (you and your wine). Raise the roof and raise a glass.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Italian seasonings (thyme, oregano, basil)
5 medium Roma tomatoes, chopped into large chunks
2 cups cooked spinach
5 garlic cloves, minced
6 bacon strips (cooked, drained, and chopped)
1 and 1/3 cups half and half
1 and 1/3 cups Parmesan cheese, shredded
Crushed red pepper, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
10 oz penne pasta
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated, for serving

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil until hot. Add chicken, season with paprika and Italian seasonings. Stir to spread seasonings evenly. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken from pan to plate. Add chopped tomatoes, spinach, garlic, crushed red pepper, and about 1/3 of the chicken and half of the bacon to pan. Mix well over low heat.

In the mean time, bring a pot of water to boil, add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain, rinse and drain to remove starch on pasta. Add pasta to skillet and give a stir.

In a sauce pan, add half and half and bring it to the point just before boiling. Then add 1 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, and immediately reduce to simmer and stir until cheese melts throughout and makes a creamy sauce, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in a little dash of red pepper, salt and pepper, to taste.

Pour sauce over pasta mixture and stir until well combined. Top with remaining chicken and bacon. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of Parmesan over the top. Serve immediately and enjoy with Sangiovese.