The other night, my son and his girlfriend offered to make dinner for my husband and me. I accepted with a resounding YES! Their pasta dish was so delicious I had to get permission to make a version to share.
When I asked, his sweet girlfriend said the recipe was just an easy one she found on line*. She gave it to me. Following is what resulted from a change here and a change there - you know, to lighten it up and still have a yummy dish.
I hope it is clear how pasta can be a quick meal no matter what is going on in your life: the desire for healthy food, something to make when the kitchen is in an upheaval, or delicious food to serve company. Making pasta allows you to easily express creativity in delicious ways.
Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce
8 ounces whole wheat pasta such as farfalle (bow ties)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 vegetarian "chicken" cutlets (Gardein** brand) OR 4 (4-ounce) chicken breasts, sliced
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup light vinaigrette dressing, any type
4 ounces Neufchatel (light cream) cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside. In large nonstick skillet, warm olive oil over medium high heat. Add vegetarian OR real chicken and cook for about 6 minutes until beginning to brown.
Add tomatoes and vinaigrette to pan with chicken. Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer 4 minutes. Add Neufchatel and continue to cook, stirring, until cheese is melted and incorporated. Stir in pasta and cook until warmed through. Serve immediately with Parmesan sprinkled on top. Makes 4 (just under 1 1/2-cup) servings. With Gardein "chicken," each serving has 8 points plus and 339 calories, and with real chicken, each serving has 9 points plus and 380 calories each.
* The original recipe is PHILLY Creamy Tomato and Chicken Spaghetti on allrecipes.com.
** Gardein "chicken" cutlets are called "Chick'n Scallopini" and can be found in the supermarket frozen food aisle. I cook with them frequently and find them to be a great substitute for poultry.