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No skimping for quick pasta

April 30, 2003

Quick cooking does not mean skimping on substance, nutrition or color. The following recipe for chicken and pasta with fresh tomato sauce can be made start-to-finish in less than half an hour.

The cook can then put on the table a tasty, rustic-style, one-dish dinner alla Italiana. The easy-to-make fresh tomato sauce also has an Italian flavor, from its green peppers and black olives.

Bowties with Chicken and Fresh Tomato Sauce

(Preparation 10 minutes, cooking time 15 minutes)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut in 1-inch pieces

2 green Italian frying peppers (sometimes called Cubanelles) or 1 small green bell pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces (about 1 3/4 cups)

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon salt

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1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound fully ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)

1/4 cup sliced black olives

3 1/2 cups bowtie pasta

Garnish: grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet (preferably nonstick), over medium heat, heat oil. Add chicken; cook, stirring often, until browned, about 5 minutes; remove to a plate. Add peppers, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper; cook and stir until peppers are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and olives; cook and stir until tomatoes soften and mixture is hot, about 5 minutes.

Stir in reserved chicken; heat only until hot.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions; drain and transfer to a serving bowl. Stir chicken-tomato mixture into pasta.

Serves 4.

Nutrition information per serving: 492 calories, 49 g protein, 8 g fat, 55 g carbohydrates.

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