Have you ever eaten something in a restaurant and wished you could make it at home any time you wanted? After a trip to Buca de Beppo earlier in the year Mel & I have been trying to figure out how to make Spicy Chicken Penne. The best Bucca server in the world, Hannah, said we'd like it. She knows us too well. :) With a change of pasta and hold the peas, a new favorite was born. We've had a semi-successful attempt at re-creating it but hadn't been able to get it just right. Enter Mel & his peeps (aka. Google). After some consultations Mel found it, in of all places, on a Nashville, TN tv station's website. Thanks to me, you won't have to search so long or so hard for it. :)
1/2 T crushed red pepper
1/8 t salt
1/8 t ground black pepper
1 T chopped garlic
6 oz chicken, sliced
3/4 c. Marinara sauce
1/2 c Alfredo sauce
2 t butter
1/4 c peas
1 lb Mezzi Rigatoni pasta, cooked according to package directions
Additional 1/2 t crushed red pepper (for garnish)
In a sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add crushed red pepper, salt, black pepper and garlic and sauté just long enough for garlic to caramelize and red pepper to release flavor into the oil. Add sliced chicken and sauté briefly to coat in spices and garlic.
Add Marinara Sauce first and then Alfredo Sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook until sauce thickens slightly and chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°. Turn off flame, add butter and peas and incorporate into sauce.
Drop cooked pasta in boiling water for 3 seconds. Let drain for 15 seconds. Toss with the sauce. Place pasta and sauce in pasta bowl, reserving the majority of the chicken to be placed on top of the pasta. Using a rubber spatula, scrape any remaining sauce from the pan to the pasta. Garnish with crushed red pepper and serve.
HELPFUL HINT:Add Marinara to the pan before Alfredo Sauce. This will help keep the Alfredo Sauce from breaking down.
Koenig Touches: switch from rigatoni to penne pasta, ditch the peas, add fresh grated Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese on top, use more garlic than recipe calls for (we're all family right??!), marinate chicken with garlic & grill, use a 26 oz jar of Marinara & a 15 oz jar of Alfredo & increase all other ingredients accordingly