Pasta with chicken in a cream sauce

I like tagliatelle with a creamy sauce and wanted to make some one night. I didn’t have any, but I did have some lasagna sheets in my pantry and decided to improvise with that. I bought the lasagna a while ago – I probably was going to make lasagna at one point, but that didn’t happen, so I still had the sheets in my cupboard.

So to improvise tagliatelle, I took the dried lasagna sheets and snap them into credit card-sized pieces. The rest of the sauce was just a common cream sauce that I like to make with cream, chicken, and peas.

Ingredients:
-6 – 8 sheets of lasagna sheets, broken into credit card-sized pieces. Don’t feel the need to actually measure your shards against a credit card – just guesstimate.
-1 chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
-3 slices of bacon – I live in England, so we just have back bacon, but streaky, American bacon would work too – try to avoid those maple bacon – chopped into a small dice
-1/4 cup of water
-1 cup of soured cream
– 3 green onions, both white and green parts, chopped
-1 cup of frozen peas, thawed

First you’re gonna wanna make the pasta. After breaking up your lasagna sheets, throw the shards into a pot of boiling, salted water and cook according to the package – but shave off about two minutes (I like my pasta to be toothy and al dente)

While the pasta is cooking – and be careful because the pasta cooking won’t last very long – start on your sauce. First you’ll want to put your raw bacon bits onto a large, cold pan, and slowly heat over a low flame, allowing for the bacon to render its fat. This cooking will take a bit, because it’s best to work off a slow, low heat.

Once your bacon has begun to crisp and the fat has rendered, add the chopped chicken and stir and cook, allowing for the chicken to brown, letting the chicken leave a fond on the bottom of the pan. Add the water, and stir, scraping the browned bits on the bottom, and stir and raise the heat until the water is boiling and stir and cooking, letting the liquid reduce by about half – you’re looking to get a soupy, syrupy liquid. Add the cream and mix right away and constantly to make sure that the cream doesn’t separate. A neat trick I do sometimes if I’m not in a hurry is get some of the hot liquid from the pan and put it in a mug and then add the cream and stir and add the mixture into the pan. If the cream separates, it’s fine to eat, but it don’t look pretty.

Add the pasta and stir, letting the creamy sauce cover the noodles and stir and cook, letting the creamy sauce get thick. Add the peas and stir, letting the peas thaw.

Serve. Oh, and enjoy.




Author: Peter Majda

I'm a MA graduate in English literature from DePaul University. I earned my BA in English literature from the University of Illinois. I completed my MA thesis on post-WWII black British literature, and am currently working on my MFA in creative writing. My favorite authors include Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Julia Child, David Sedaris, Amy Sedaris, Amy Tan, Harper Lee. I read about two-three books a week. I read mainly essay collections, nonfiction, humor. I am Chicago-raised, but based in the UK.

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