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Create an enchanted Italian evening with easy Chicken Marsala Pasta

Chula King
Guest columnist

Easy Creamy Chicken Marsala Pasta

Serves 6

Ingredients

8 ounces (2 cups) dried penne pasta

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup chopped onion (1 small onion)

3 cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced

3/4 cup Dry Marsala

1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup (1 3/4 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Minced chives or parsley for garnish (optional)

Directions

Cook penne pasta to al dente stage according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta liquid. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chicken, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring until chicken is no longer pink, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove chicken from Dutch oven.

Add onions to Dutch oven over medium heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, about 7 minutes.

Add garlic; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Increase heat to medium-high; add mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently until all liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Add Marsala; cook, scraping up bottom bits until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium; return cooked chicken to Dutch oven. Add chicken broth and cream. Stir to combine.

Add cooked pasta and remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Stir to combine. Cook until bubbly.

Add mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese; cook, stirring until cheese is melted. If necessary, add some or all of the reserved pasta liquid. Taste seasonings to correct.

Garnish with remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and minced chives or parsley.

Yield: 6 servings.

Chula's Tips

  • May also use ziti or rotini in place of the penne.
  • I like to use cremini mushrooms, but white button mushrooms also work well in this dish.
  • For best results use an Italian Marsala as opposed to a California Marsala. Also, use a Dry Marsala as opposed to a Sweet Marsala. You can, however, substitute Madeira, Port or Dry Sherry for the Marsala.
  • It's best to shred your own mozzarella. The pre-shredded mozzarella has a coating that can negatively impact this dish.
  • Leftovers are delicious. Heat in microwave for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.