My husband has been the most supportive person in the entire world during the first half of my pregnancy. He has put up with mood swings, the occasional stomach ache, and my constantly-changing body (and not in the ‘honey I’m getting a six pack’ kind of way). I absolutely love him for that and for always paying attention. His memory is ten times what mine is. When I sent him to the grocery store to get some white cheddar cheese, all of it was unpasteurized except one. He remembered that our OB’s office told me to never eat unpasteurized cheese (I miss real queso). What an amazing husband I have!
I needed white cheddar cheese, shredded, for this recipe and it only comes in blocks. I guess almost all grocery stores keep them near the deli counter instead of where the general shredded cheese is. This kind of cheese and the way it melts is really the only kind of cheese I would recommend for this dish. It really gave a great taste to the chicken and pasta. The spices really kicked it up a notch, especially for my husband who loves spicy foods. This is a perfect weeknight meal to take for lunches in the days after cooking it. It keeps well and still tastes great!
White Cheddar Chicken Pasta
Adapted from: Homemade by Holman
For the chicken
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
¼ tsp mustard
1 Tbsp thyme
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
For the Pasta:
1 lb short-cut pasta (bowtie or rotini)
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
8 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups milk
1 Tbsp thyme
1 Tbsp oregano
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Grated parmesan cheese, to taste
Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Mix together mustard, thyme, salt and pepper. Sprinkle spices onto both sides of raw chicken pieces. When the pan is hot, add the chicken and brown about 3-5 minutes per side until cooked all the way through. Set aside on a plate and cover to keep warm.
Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat and add flour. Whisk to combine. Add wine, garlic, onions, and mustard and cook about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Reduce heat to low and slowly add milk, stirring to combine. Cook about 5-7 minutes more until mixture begins to thicken. Add cheese and stir well to melt.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Once everything is warmed and cooked through, add together in the large skillet with the cheese mixture. Add thyme and oregano and toss well to incorporate. Serve warm and top with parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes as desired.