This creamy roasted garlic and tomato pasta is an "almost" one-pan dish that is sure to delight. It tastes high class, but it's made with affordable ingredients and with just a few steps. The perfect dinner does exist.
– 1-2 pints red cherry tomatoes – 1 ounce spinach leaves, chopped – 4 whole garlic cloves – 1/2 onion, diced – 1/4 cup olive oil – 1 teaspoon italian seasoning – 2 teaspoons salt – 1 teaspoon garlic powder – 1 teaspoon onion powder – 1 brick (8 ounce) cream cheese – 16 ounces cooked penne noodles – 1 cup reserved pasta water – 2 medium sized chicken breasts *optional
– Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
– In a 9x13 baking dish or large baking sheet (lined with foil or well greased) mix together the cherry tomatoes, garlic cloves, onion, and half of the olive oil.
– Toss together until well coated and then push them off to the side of the pan to allow space in the middle.
– In the middle of the pan place your brick of cream cheese (unwrapped). Lay a chicken breast on each side (if using).
– Coat the top of the breasts and cream cheese with the remaining olive oil and seasonings.
– Bake in the oven for 25 minutes and check internal temp of the chicken. If the chicken has reached 165 degrees F then remove and place on a plate and cover with foil. Return pan to oven.
– Continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes or until the cream cheese looks cracked and falling apart.
– While the pan is roasting in the oven cook your noodles according to package instructions. Reserve one cup of pasta water before draining. Return pasta to the pot.
– Remove pan from oven and use the back of a spoon to press down on the tomatoes.
– Bring the loose roasted garlic cloves, tomatoes, and onions to the cream cheese in the center of the pan and mix them well with your spoon. Add to the pot of drained cooked pasta.
– Taste. Add salt and pepper as needed. Add sliced chicken.
– Stir in the cut spinach leaves and reserved pasta water, a little at a time until the pasta no longer looks dry.