I recently signed up to receive "Dinner Tonight" emails from My Recipes, and I'm already glad I did. One of the first dinners to appear in my inbox was this Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Florentine and I immediately put it on my menu. It sounded delicious, and seriously, with three cheeses, how could it not be? I did make a few modifications to the recipe (below). As much as I like cottage cheese for breakfast, I truly believe that it does not have a place in pasta (plus I didn't want to have to pull out my food processor to smooth it out) so I used fat-free ricotta in its place. I used cream of mushroom soup since I had some in the pantry and roasted red peppers in place of red bell pepper because I adore roasted red peppers. I also subbed in 1/4 cup skim milk and 1/4 cup fat free half and half for the 2% milk.
Wow was this good! So rich and creamy and loaded with delicious vegetables. Served with some asiago cheese bread and roasted green beans and carrots, this was an awesome meal. The recipe makes a TON of food - luckily my brother-in-law and his girlfriend were around to help us eat it - but you may want to cut it in half if you're only feeding two. Or make the entire thing - you won't be sorry to have leftovers!
Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Florentine
3 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped roasted red peppers
3 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) carton skim ricotta
4 cups hot cooked penne (about 8 ounces uncooked tube-shaped pasta)
2 cups shredded roasted skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup fat free half and half
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
Preheat oven to 425°.
In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat, add mushrooms, onion, and pepper; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add spinach, oregano, and black pepper; sauté 3 minutes or just until spinach wilts.
Combine spinach mixture, ricotta cheese, pasta, chicken, 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, milk, and soup in a large bowl. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.