This meal was an absolute knockout. I got the idea from a recipe sent to me by a reader, Katie. After looking it over, I realized I wanted to change a few things, so I used a slightly adapted marinade from my favorite chicken fajitas and then added other delicious fajita-appropriate ingredients to make a pasta dish that easily ranks in my top 10 favorite noodle recipes.
Quick to put together (if you account for marinading time), this meal was so very tasty and flavorful.
The pasta is basically sauce-less, which may worry you, but trust me, it all comes together perfectly – and I tend to like lighter sauced pasta dishes anyway.
We used a dollop of sour cream swirled it into the hot pasta to create a light, creamy, silky coating that was precisely what this unique dish needed to make it complete.
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into fajita-sized strips
1 tablespoon vegetable, canola or olive oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced into half moons
1 green pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 red pepper, sliced into thin strips
8 ounces white button mushrooms, quartered
4-6 ounces crumbled feta cheese (Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack or cheddar could easily be subbed here)
1 pound fettuccine
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
Sour cream for serving
In a small bowl, mix the marinade ingredients together. Place the chicken strips in a ziploc bag, pour the marinade over the chicken and seal the bag. Refrigerate and marinate for 4-8 hours.
Grill the chicken strips until they are tender and cooked through (alternately, you could saute the chicken in a hot skillet to cook or broil in the oven). Set aside and tent with foil to keep warm.
Start a large pot of water to boil. When boiling, add a tablespoon of salt and the fettuccine. Cook until the noodles are tender, according to package directions. Drain.
While the water is heating and the noodles are boiling, in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the 1 tablespoon oil and add the onions. Cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms begin to give off their liquid and start to brown (by now, the onions should be nearly finished cooking). Add the bell peppers and saute until they are crisp tender. I like my bell peppers barely cooked so they retain their sweetness and crispness, but cook them however you like.
Return the noodles to the pot and toss with the chicken, vegetables, half of the cheese and cilantro. Serve the pasta with a dollop of sour cream, if desired, the remaining cheese and additional cilantro. For a prettier presentation (rather than serving from the pot), after combining all the ingredients in the pot, dump the pasta onto a large serving platter or bowl.
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