½teaspooncayenne pepper, more if you want to up the heat
Chicken and Pasta:
1 ½poundsboneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch strips
2bell peppers, any color (I prefer red and orange), sliced into thin strips
1yellow onion, cut into thin half moon slices
2clovesgarlic, finely minced
4ounceslight cream cheese, softened
½cuplow-sodium chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix together all the seasoning spices in a small bowl and toss all but 1 teaspoon of the mixture with the chicken pieces, reserving the 1 teaspoon for later.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the noodles according to package directions.
While the noodles are boiling, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat until the oil is hot and rippling. Add the seasoned chicken pieces in a single layer and cook until golden on each side and cooked through, 3-5 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside, leaving as much liquid in the pan as possible.
Return the skillet to medium heat and add the peppers and onions. Sprinkle the reserved spice mixture over the top and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are softened. Scrape the veggies on top of the chicken.
Return the skillet to the heat and make the sauce by adding the butter and garlic. Stir constantly for 30 seconds or so until the garlic is fragrant. Add the cream cheese in large pieces and whisk or stir until smooth and thick.
In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk, broth and cornstarch until well combined.
Gradually pour this mixture into the skillet, whisking vigorously to avoid lumps. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly, and cook for 2-3 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste (I'd suggest about 1/4 teaspoon each and work up from there as needed).
Add the chicken, peppers and onions and stir to coat with sauce. Remove from the heat.
Once the noodles are finished cooking, drain and return to the pot. Pour the sauce mixture over the top and toss to coat the noodles with sauce. Serve immediately, garnishing with green onions, if desired.
Ingredients: the ingredient list looks a bit long for this recipe but don't be intimidated - most of the ingredients are for the seasoning mixture which takes seconds to mix together.Serving: this pasta is best served right away since it loses a bit of its creaminess if left to sit for a while. Noodles: also, you could use a full pound of fettuccine noodles if you want it to serve a few more people but it won't be quite as saucy/creamy.