Difficulty Level: Easy
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serving Size: 2-4 servings
1/2 lb. rigatoni or other short pasta
1/2 lb. chicken breast tenders
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 shallot, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vodka
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
3 oz. fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup whole milk mozzarella, shredded
1 tbsp. Italian parsley, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add plenty of salt. Cook the pasta until it’s al dente. Reserve 3/4 cup pasta water.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cut the chicken tenders into roughly 1 inch pieces and add to the pan along with salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until fully cooked.
Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and sauté the chopped shallot until soft and translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté for a further 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Add the tomato paste and salt to the pan. Stir and let sit on medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes until the tomato paste deepens in color.
Add 1/4 cup of vodka to deglaze the pan. Stir until the vodka has fully evaporated, about 1-2 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the heavy cream and Parmigiano. Add more salt to taste. Add in the cooked chicken and stir again.
Strain the pasta and add it to the large sauté pan along with the vodka sauce, spinach and 1/4 cup pasta water. Toss on medium heat until the spinach is cooked. Add more pasta water as needed, 1/4 cup at a time.
Stir in the shredded mozzarella before serving.
Plate and top with parsley.