Creamy Tomato-Basil Pasta and Free Cream Cheese


Have you seen the new ads for Philadelphia cream cheese?  I just love the song!



Anyhow Love My Philly.com invited me to try their Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta and Chicken recipe. To that, a little thank you was attached – They sent me a cute little recipe book with every cheesecake recipe one could think of, and coupons for free Philadelphia Cream Cheese. I’ll be Spreading a Little Philly Love to you all with a giveaway here. Yep a free tub or block of Philadelphia Cream Cheese but first the recipe, it’s really quite impressive. I did make some alterations to the recipe ingredients, which are noted (like this).

Creamy Tomato-Basil Pasta with Chicken

Prep: 30 minutes (45 min)
Makes: 4 servings

3 cups penne pasta, uncooked (2 1/2 cups Rotelle)
¼ cup KRAFT sun-dried tomato dressing, divided
4 small boneless skinless Chicken Breasts – (3 ½ lb each)
1 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
½ tsp. each garlic powder & black pepper
4 oz (1/2 package) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, cubed
2 cups grape tomatoes
½ cup KRAFT shredded Parmesan cheese (grated)
8 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips

1. Cook pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken, cover. Cook 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until done (165ยบ F). Remove chicken from skillet, cover to keep warm. Carefully wipe out skillet with paper towel.
2. add remaining dressing, broth, and seasonings to skillet; cook 3 to 4 min. or until heated through. Add Neufchatel; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until Neufchatel is melted. Stir in tomatoes, cook 3 minutes.
3. Drain pasta. Add to ingredients in skillet with Parmesan and basil, mix well. Serve topped with chicken.

Method alterations:
Step 1- I used Rotelle pasta because that is what I had on hand. Since the chicken breasts that I bought, and all the packages at the meat counter for that matter, were about a half a pound, I used just three. They took a little longer than 12 minutes to cook; Note to self, fillet the chicken breasts next time.
Step 2- The grape tomatoes I halved, they just seemed too big.
Step 3 – I added all but about a cup of the cooked pasta. It looked to be way too much pasta for the sauce, even after reducing the dry amount.

Assessment:
I had a great time preparing this dish. It was really exciting to be part of a testing program for the first time. Add in the fact that it was Philly cream cheese and I'm a girl from the burbs of  Philly, well that's just made the whole deal awesome! The flavor was great. The dressing gave the chicken a nice flavor and a nice bit of zing to the sauce too. Red and the carnivore liked very much. The three of us had one criticism, more sauce was definitely in order! To spoon some of that creamy sauce over the chicken after plating would have been fabulous, but the pasta just soaked it up. Maybe changing from Penne to Rotelle made the difference, I don’t know. I will be making this again, two cups of dry pasta, double the sauce.



My Spread A Little Philly Love Giveaway – If you want to enter, go here and leave a comment about this post, including a way for me to contact you in your comment. That’s it, you're entered to win one free tub or bar of Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Giveaway closes at midnight EST on Tuesday January 19th. One winner will be chosen at random.

The lucky winner will be announced on Wednesday January 20th. Thanks and Good Luck!

Are you hungry?



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I had to go into the kitchen and check this out for myself.
Whoever looks at the end of your aluminum foil box? You know when you try to pull some foil out and the roll comes out of the box. Then you have to put the roll back in the box and start over. The darn roll always comes out at the wrong time. Well, I would like to share this with you. Yesterday I went to throw out an empty Reynolds foil box and for some reason I turned it and looked at the end of the box. And written on the end it said, Press here to lock end. Right there on the end of the box is a tab to lock the roll in place. How long has this little locking tab been there? I then looked at a generic brand of aluminum foil and it had one, too. I then looked at a box of Saran wrap and it had one too! I can't count the number of times the Saran wrap roll has jumped out when I was trying to cover something up. I'm sharing this with my friends. I hope I'm not the only person that didn't know about this.