In the kitchen: Cajun Chicken Bowtie Pasta

Cajun chicken bowtie pasta. Photo by Aimee Broussard.

Many people, Catholic or not, know the power of sacrifice during this time of year. Less sugar equals healthier hearts. Less time in front of the TV equals more time at the gym. But we have yet to encounter any person who deems the absence of a Cajun meal anything less than a travesty. In this recipe from inRegister food columnist Aimee Broussard’s Picnics, Potlucks and Porch Parties cookbook, bell peppers and Creole seasoning put a homespun twist on a popular family meal, lending bit of spice to the cozy combo of chicken and pasta. Easter or not, this dish will surely rise to the dinner table more than once.


CAJUN CHICKEN BOWTIE PASTA

I’ve used bowtie pasta in this recipe, but you can also use fettuccine or linguine, if you prefer.
1 (12-oz.) pkg. bowtie pasta
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
Olive oil, enough to coat pan
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium sweet red bell pepper, chopped
½ (14½-oz.) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 (10¾-oz.) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (10¾-oz.) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
½ cup milk
1 ½ tsp. Creole seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 ½ cups shredded Colby Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray; set aside. Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain and set aside.
In a Dutch oven, sauté chicken in olive oil until juices run clear. Remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside. In same pan, sauté onions and bell pepper until tender. Add broth, soups, milk, Creole seasoning, garlic powder and black pepper. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Add pasta and chicken, tossing to coat.
Pour chicken and pasta mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
Makes 4-6 servings.