Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cookin' For Two: Santa Fe Penne

Well, let me tell you... actually measuring things was a bit difficult for me! But I tried... 

I first stumbled upon a recipe for something like this at my mom's house. 
She had cut it out of a magazine or something, and I thought that it sounded good. 
She said she made it once and really didn't like it. 
But I loved the idea of a southwest flavored pasta dish... 
so I set to work and came up with something we really like!

Santa Fe Penne

2 or 3 chicken breasts
3 c. dry Penne of Rigatoni pasta (Depends on what I have on hand. Both taste great!)
salt and pepper to season
1 medium onion
1-14oz. can green chiles
1 1/2 c. salsa (Good salsa makes a world of difference)
1/4 c. sour cream
1t taco seasoning (optional)
1 can corn
1 1/4 c. Mexican Blend Cheese

Cut chicken into bite size pieces.
Season with salt and pepper (I used garlic salt on this. I just like the flavor a little better).
Cook over Medium High heat, rotating as necessary, until juices run clear, about 10-15 min.
I don't want to question if my chicken is done. I like it a little browned just in case.
Plus I think it has a better flavor that way.

While the chicken cooks, boil your water to cook the pasta.
(Seriously, guys? You want me to measure the water too....? Well, I guess I'm a work in progress...
6 cups? I really don't know... enough to cook the pasta).
Add some salt to the water and just a tiny bit of oil so that the pasta doesn't stick.
When the water starts boiling, stir in the pasta. It's also best to stir the pasta during the first minute
of cooking so that it won't stick. Cook according to package directions, probably 12-14 minutes.
When cooked "al dente,"drain pasta and return to the pot.

(I forgot to take pictures, but it's pretty simple, so I know you can do it!)
1. Chop onions and sauté in 1T olive oil over medium heat for 3 minutes. More if you like, I like to keep a little crunch in the onions for this dish.
2. Add can of green chiles to the onion and let cook for about 2 more minutes.

3. Stir in salsa and sour cream and let it heat through (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally.
4. Add taco seasoning, if desired. When I have really good salsa, I don't add the taco seasoning. When I am out of homemade salsa and use whatever I have on hand, I add the seasoning to give it a little flavor. You're call.

Pour sauce over pasta. Stir.
Stir in corn and chicken.
Stir in cheese until completely melted.

Not the prettiest picture, I know... I'll work on my food photography. But it is really yummy!
Brad really likes this. I haven't made it all that often, but it's pretty much a no-fail recipe.

And cooking is always more fun when your handsome husband does the dishes after!

Love Him

If you try it, let us know what you think!
It's a simple recipe that is quite family friendly. It has a little bite to it, 
and depending on your salsa, 
I guess it could have quite the bite. 
But it is really yummy! I made this for my wonderful in-laws who don't love pasta dishes, 
and they really liked it!
So we think you will too. 
Give it a try, and let us know what you think!


  1. A little tip that I learned from my most favorite 'chef' in Argentina: Vinegar instead of oil when boiling pasta. Weird, I know but it ensures no sticking and actually helps keep your kitchen from smelling like you just cooked a smelly meal. You can try or not, just thought I'd pass it along!

    1. That is a great idea, Suzette! I had never heard of that, but I will definitely be trying it. Thanks!


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