Here we are again with this week's Cook With Confidence post! This time, we're going on a journey into pasta territory. Spring is a great time to enjoy pasta, and with all of the spring vegetables that are in season, it's easier than ever. This particular dish features cherry tomatoes, spinach, and artichoke hearts, all of which I am a huge fan of, so I knew going in that this was going to have a delicious outcome. Let's get started, shall we?
Boiling the pasta is the first step to get going so that you can then attend to the chicken. Something to consider here is that this recipe calls for 1/4 cup of salt to be added to the water, which the noodles soak right up. If you'd like a less salty dish, you can always cut that amount of salt just a bit.
Cooking the chicken was the step that took the longest for me because I actually used double the amount of chicken that was called for (2lbs instead of 1lb). So to speed up the process, I diced the chicken tenders when they were halfway cooked, and then threw them back in the pan to finish the job.
Because this recipe doesn't call for an actual sauce, parmesan cheese swoops in to save the day. I used a vegetarian parmesan and used the smaller grained side of my cheese grater to get ultra-thin shreds of cheese. Your aim is to get 3/4 cup of cheese, but I went for a little bit more, about 1 1/4 cups. Once the pasta and chicken have been cooked, the next step is the cherry tomatoes, artichokes, and spinach.
At first the spinach will seem to overflow the pot, but it quickly cooks down to a manageable level. When the tomatoes begin to burst from the heat, that's when you'll add the pasta, chicken, and parmesan cheese.
Stirring all of these ingredients together is no small feat, so get your biggest wooden spoon to help you do the job. When you dish out each serving, be sure to top the bowls with some more freshly grated parmesan cheese. And that's it! What you end up with is a really easy, cheap meal that everyone can enjoy. The ingredients list averages out at about $20 dollars at the grocery store and in the end there were about 8 servings. That's only $2.50 per serving!