This delicious pasta dish is easy to prepare as well as eye-healthy. Beginning with the tomatoes and garlic, this dish is high in Vitamin C. The chicken breast meat provides selenium, one of two minerals (the other being zinc), that help the body absorb anti-oxidants, which assist in the prevention of eye disease. Alter the recipe with some of the suggested variations, and you can add other eye-health nutrients such as lutein (spinach) and omega-3 (shrimp).
- 4 12-oz bags cherry tomatoes
- 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 10 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper flake (less if you want it less spicy)
- 1 1/2 tsp dried herb of choice: oregano, basil, herbs de Provence (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups shredded roasted chicken breasts without skin (from purchased roast chicken)
- 8 oz penne pasta
- 6 cups arugula leaves
- 3 oz feta cheese (about 1/2 cup)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix cherry tomatoes, oil, garlic, crushed red pepper and optional dried herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spread mixture out on prepared baking sheet. Bake until tomatoes are soft and beginning to brown in spots, stirring occasionally, about 20-25 minutes.
Transfer mixture, including juices, from baking sheet to large sauté pan.
Add chicken to sauté pan and simmer until chicken is heated through, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Ladle out ¼ cup of pasta cooking water and reserve. Drain pasta and return to pot.
Add tomato mixture, arugula, and reserved pasta water to pasta. Toss over medium heat just until arugula begins to wilt, about 30 seconds. Taste and season again with salt and pepper if needed.
Transfer pasta to large bowl and sprinkle with the feta. Serve immediately.
Marinate and grill/bake your own boneless and skinless chicken breasts and shred; use shrimp instead of chicken (simmer raw shrimp in tomato mixture until just pink); add some bell pepper slices, cut asparagus, or baby carrots to roasting pan along with tomatoes when roasting; use chicken broth instead of pasta water; substitute spinach or shredded Swiss chard for arugula; substitute spinach or whole wheat penne pasta for the regular pasta; substitute a crumbled flavored feta for the plain feta.</span>