Is there anything better than a big bowl of creamy, cheesy pasta? How about an even bigger skillet of fresh fettuccine cloaked in homemade sun-dried tomato alfredo sauce with loads of Parmesan, smoky spiced chicken, fresh basil and balsamic reduction? This indulgent dinner for two is better than any chicken fettuccine on a restaurant menu and is sure to impress. Make this recipe as a comforting weeknight dinner or a romantic date night at home.
Lovely, Bella Notte
Scott and I love hitting the town and trying out new restaurants and new dishes whenever we get the chance. But, pandemic-proven, we also love cozying up to a no-dress-code-required date night at home. With this simple but flavorful twist on an Italian-turned-American favorite, we promise you won’t miss the ristorante (or the steep bill) a wink!
Table for Two: The Perfect Date Night Recipe
Whether you will be preparing this dish alongside your longtime life partner or wooing a new squeeze, this fresh pasta and Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo recipe is sure to impress you both. So go ahead, pop the cork, dim the lights, and light your candles. You will be Lady and the Tramp-ing this dish in no time. This recipe is scaled to feed two hungry adults, but if you plan to share with the whole family, this recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to your liking.
A Romantic Rub: How to Spice Up Alfredo
Now, we rarely turn down a chance at fresh, cheesy, garlicky pasta but have you ever been disappointed by a big ol’ bowl of bland? Not tonight, Romeo. A quick spice rub on your chicken brings loads of sweet, smoky and, if desired, spicy flavors to this Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo. Garlic powder and oregano are the Italian seasoning go-tos. However, it’s the long-distance lover: smoked paprika, that adds SO much depth and intrigue to this dish. That mild, smoky spice melds beautifully with this sauce’s rich tomato flavor. If you’re hoping to bring the heat tonight, we recommend spicing it up with a dash of cayenne, too.
Sun-Dried, Bona Fide, Cream Sauce Deliciousness
Sun-dried tomatoes are natures’ sweet, tangy candy of the Mediterranean. When fresh tomatoes are left to dry on the hot Tuscan rooftops they blissfully transform to shriveled, umami-rich flavor bombs. They are so rich in flavor that a little goes a long way. The small amount of sun-dried tomatoes in this recipe take your alfredo from a run-of-the-mill Parm sauce to a compelling dish with layers of flavor. We recommend purchasing the ready-to-use olive oil preserved sun-dried tomatoes but if dried is all you can find, they can easily be rehydrated by covering in olive oil and refrigerating for a day or two ahead of time.
Little Ribbons: Fresh or Dried Pasta Variations
We whole-heartedly encourage you to create this recipe using our Easy, Homemade Semolina Pasta Dough recipe. There is simply no comparison to the bouncy chew of handmade Italian pasta. Surely, taking the extra time to prepare handmade pasta is sure to wow your significant other. However, if you don’t have the time, or if your date-night lover isn’t the one, we get it. You can easily substitute a boxed or pre-made fettuccine to your liking. Either way, we recommend transporting your oh, so slightly undercooked pasta (directly from the boiling water) into the sauce. Finish cooking your starchy little ribbons in the sauce so the sun-dried tomato alfredo clings thickly to every bite.
A Sweet, Luxurious Drizzle
Cooking down a bit of balsamic vinegar into a thick, flavorful reduction could not be any easier. It’s also a steadfast way to improve your chef game. The sweet and sticky tang of a balsamic reduction adds just enough zip to cut through this alfredos’ creamy richness. With just a splash of balsamic and a little time you can add a whole new level of complexity and flare. We recommend using a high-quality vinegar for the best results. Lesser-quality vinegar can still yield delicious, syrupy reductions but will yield less and take a little extra time to compensate for evaporating the added water. The amount of vinegar suggested for this recipe yields just enough for a generous drizzle. However, a balsamic reduction pairs beautifully with endless vegetables and proteins and you are welcome to make a larger quantity to be kept in the refrigerator for up to two months.
Share your Success!
We hope you enjoy the sweet and smoky sun-dried tomato spin on this delicious chicken fettuccine alfredo! If this recipe makes its way to your table be sure to drop us a comment below! And, as always, tag @foodworthfeed in your Instagram posts and stories. We love having a seat at your table, you’ll always have one at ours!
70 grams (about 2 ½ ounces) Parmesan cheese, fresh-grated, divided
Fine, sea or kosher salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh basil, to taste, garnish
Gather, measure and prepare the recipe ingredients as listed. For the most consistent results, we recommend using metric weight measurements whenever possible
If you are using already-prepared, fresh or boxed fettuccine, proceed to Step 5. To make fettuccine from your Easy, Homemade Semolina Pasta, begin by lightly flouring your work station, pasta dough, and tools. With a rolling pin, or on the widest setting of your pasta maker, begin to sheet your dough. If at any time in this process the dough resists thinning or seems to shrink, allow the dough to rest, covered with a damp towel or plastic wrap, for ten minutes before continuing. Pasta Maker: Using a hand-crank, motorized, or Kitchenaid pasta attachment, pass the dough through the maker twice on each setting before moving to the next thickness increment and repeating. Hand-Rolling: With a well-floured rolling pin, roll your dough into a large rectangle or oval.
Once you’ve reached your desired thickness [about 3 millimeters (⅛ inch) thick, keeping in mind your fettuccine will expand slightly during cooking], it is time to cut your dough into noodles. Pasta Maker: Yum the ends of your pasta sheets to square the edges. Connect your wide-toothed attachment and run your floured dough through to slice into fettuccine. Hand-Rolling: Generously flour your sheeted dough and fold the dough, accordian-style, every 7, or so, centimeters (about 3 inches). Once folded, using a sharp knife or pizza wheel, cut the dough in 6 millimeter (about ¼ inch) strips perpendicular to your folds. Unfold your ribbons of fettuccine to prevent them from sticking together.
If needed, toss fettuccine noodles in a little additional flour before setting aside to dry on a wooden drying rack, mesh drying screen, or floured sheet pan.
Preheat the oven’s broiler to medium-high heat. Set a large pot of water to rapid boil.
Prepare the chicken seasoning by combining the salt, smoked paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, black pepper and cayenne (if using) in a small bowl. With paper towels, pat the chicken dry, add to the bowl and coat entirely in all of the seasoning. Set the spiced chicken aside while collecting remaining ingredients.
To prepare the balsamic vinegar reduction, add balsamic to a small, shallow pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cook until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. The vinegar will continue to thicken as it cools. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 15 milliliters (1 tablespoon) olive oil in a medium, oven-safe skillet over medium to medium-high heat until shimmering.
Add chicken to pan and cook, undisturbed, for about 5 minutes on each side (See Note: b.) or until golden brown and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees celsius). Remove chicken from the pan and set aside to rest.
Lower heat to medium-low and, in the same pan add garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and crushed red pepper flakes, if using. Sauté one minute.
Add chicken stock and deglaze by using a wooden spoon to scrape up any caramelized brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add heavy cream and bring to a boil, stirring often.
Once boiling, remove the sauce from the heat and puree, with an immersion or traditional blender, until smooth. (See Note: c.)
Return the alfredo sauce to the saucepan over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Once simmering add about three-quarters of your Parmesan cheese in two or three additions, stirring to melt until smooth. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, slice your chicken into bite-sized pieces and cook your fettuccine. Generously season your large pot of boiling water with salt. Add your fettuccine to the pot and cook until it is just under al-dente doneness. If you are using the Easy, Homemade Semolina Pasta Dough recipe this will take just about one minute. Be careful not to overcook. Using tongs, remove your fettucine from the boiling water directly into your alfredo sauce. Stir vigorously to thickly coat the fettuccine in sauce. If the sauce is a bit too thick, add a bit of starchy pasta water and cook and stir until emulsified. Stir in chicken and any accumulated juices.
Top your pasta with remaining Parmesan cheese.
Broil the entire skillet, watching closely, until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
Garnish with fresh basil, balsamic reduction and additional sun-dried tomatoes, if using. Serve hot with crusty Italian bread. Enjoy!
a. If your chicken breast is very thick, it will not cook evenly in the pan. To butterfly, halve your chicken breast horizontally before seasoning. Alternatively, you can place the chicken between plastic wrap (or in a plastic bag) and pound to an even-thickness (about 1 centimeter or a half inch) with the bottom of a heavy skillet or rolling pin.
b. If your chicken is sticking to the bottom of your pan, it is not ready to be flipped. Give the chicken time, undisturbed, to caramelize in the pan.
c. For a single batch, there may not be enough sauce to purée this alfredo sauce directly in your pan. Transfer your sauce to a smaller container or measuring cup if using an immersion blender.