1 box fettuccine
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 green pepper
1 pkg sliced fresh mushrooms
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup Zesty Italian Dressing
Sprinkles of grated or shredded Parmesan Cheese
Step 1: Bring a pot of water to a boil. I like to add 2 tbsp. of salt and a little olive oil to my water to flavor the noodles and keep them from sticking to each other. When the water is boiling, gather small bunches of fettuccine and snap them in half before adding to water. I find this helps when mixing the pasta with the sauce later on.
Step 2: Allow the pasta to cook to al dente (about 9 minutes) or whatever they recommend on the back of the box. When done cooking, drain the water and shock the pasta in cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside to drain & dry.
Step 3: After giving the mushrooms a thorough wipe with a damp paper towel, slice them into thick chunky pieces. I LOVE mushrooms so I prefer them in larger pieces. The slices pictured above were later cut into halves. You can also use bottled button or sliced mushrooms, but I prefer fresh ones. Place these in a bowl and set aside.
Step 4: Slice the bell pepper in half, remove the seeds, then cut into strips. You can leave them like this or cut them into cubes. Place in a bowl and set aside.
Step 5: Give the chicken breasts a quick rinse and trim off the extra fat.
Step 6: Cut the chicken breasts into cubes.
Step 7: Heat a non-stick frying pan on medium with about 1-2 tsp of olive oil. When hot, add the chicken breasts and allow them to cook for about 3-4 minutes before flipping them over. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Step 8: First of all, I love it when chicken breasts brown this way. MmmMmm that golden-brown goodness is what makes my heart melt.
Step 9: When the chicken is no longer pink, add the green pepper and mix, mix, mix.
Step 10: Add the mushrooms right after the peppers. Mix and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes. Heat is still on medium.
Step 11: Add the diced tomatoes. You can definitely use fresh tomatoes and you’ll have to season them with oregano, thyme and basil but it’s easy. I’ll do another post about it sometime. For this recipe, the key word is “quick” so I have no qualms about using canned in this case!
Step 12: Taste the sauce, taste the chicken, taste the peppers, taste the mushrooms, taste everything! Adjust salt as needed. Tasting should not be saved for last – especially when dinner guests are involved!
Step 13: Add 1/4 cup of the Italian dressing. Insert hesitation here. I didn’t want to feel like I was eating a pasta salad (which is the first thing I think of when I put salad dressing and pasta in the same sentence) and the tomato sauce already smelled wonderful on its own..but…I did it anyway.
Step 14: Transfer the sauce from the frying pan into a bigger pot. Or, if your frying pan is large enough to add a whole box of cooked fettuccine, no need to move.
Step 15: Turn the heat down to medium-low and allow sauce to simmer for 5 minutes. Taste again. Add salt if needed.
Step 16: Toss in the fettuccine and mix, mix, mix until the sauce and pasta are equally combined.
Step 17: Divide equally among guests and sprinkle a generous amount of grated or shredded Parmesan cheese.