Roasted Red Pepper + Tomato Pasta with Chicken

My puppy must have read yesterdays post because she has suddenly gotten very comfortable around here.

Too comfortable.

Our nearly potty trained puppy has gone from 2 accidents in the house in five days to 3 "accidents" in the house today alone. Her potty breaks in the house today were no accident, though. I am quite convinced she did those on purpose to thank me (sarcasm) for our trip to the dog park, 30 minute walk/jog around the block and 2 mile run in the late afternoon.

She also refuses to potty anywhere other than our backyard. Is this a thing with dogs? because we'll be outside on a walk for more than an hour and she'll do her business almost as soon as we walk through the door; or, now that I've learned she has potty anxieties, take her straight to the back yard where she will immediately do her thing.

...Unless it's today, then she'll just hold out until we are inside for good and my guard is down.

I've learned really quickly that I have absolutely no idea what I am doing. However, I have learned one thing, NEVER let your guard down. They can smell it. Oh wait, that reminds me of something else-

...motherhood!

So, for now I'm just kinda winging it (and watching lots of Youtube dog training videos).

In other news, my other child decided it would be fun to have a party in mommy's bed (the nest of blankets piled on his floor next to his crib) between the hours of 11pm and 3ish am. He spiked a super high mystery fever before bed, so I knew it would be a long night. He had a blast smacking me in the face, poking my eyeballs, headbutting me (literally), losing his water every 2 minutes and crying out "mama! need wata! need wata!", singing singing singing (I actually loved this part) and climbing all over me. The last time this happened I worried it would become his new thing, but it stopped and now only happens when he feels really super crummy.

I try to have patience, but, you guys, sometimes it's SO HARD.

I finally had to stick him in his crib and let him cry for a couple minutes before he promised that he would lay down and go to sleep. 

He did. At least we managed a few hours of sleep.

I really can't blame him for wanting to sleep in my nest, though. It's pretty comfortable. Aside from the fact that my husband is missing from the space, I actually prefer to sleep in my little bed next to Octavian's crib. Double sound machine, black out curtains, low speed fan blowing AND (the best part) no one touching me or invading my space (on those lucky nights when my toddler stays in his crib).

It's dreamy (literally).

Ok, enough puppy slash toddler woes for one evening. Today, I really wanted to share with you my Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Pasta with Chicken.

This super delicious pasta and chicken is an easy anytime dinner almost anyone will love. AND! if you have a toddler or kiddo that actually eats red sauce, they will love this, too. Unfortunately, Octavian hates any and all red sauces (even ketchup!).

I chose to leave my chicken breasts whole, but if you're short on time, feel free to chop up your chicken breasts into bite size pieces instead. Or, if you don't care for chicken at all, you can always leave it out. The pasta sauce is delicious alone over pasta.

Oh yeah, and those kiddos won't have any idea that they are actually eating veggies.

 

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Chicken

Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 30-40 minutes / Total Time: 45-55 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 chicken breasts (mine were large, so I used 3)
2 tablespoons butter
5 shallots, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 (12 ounce) jar fire roasted red peppers in water, drained and roughly chopped
1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, liquid reserved and roughly chopped
salt and pepper
10 ounces fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry basil
1/2 teaspoon dry parsley
Juice from half a lemon
Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
Pasta of choice (I served mine with linguine) 

Instructions

  1. Cover each chicken breast with plastic wrap and pound each piece to an even thickness, about an inch or so, to help the chicken cook more evenly. Remove the plastic (you do not want to cook that!) and sprinkle each side of the chicken breast with salt and pepper.
  2. Prepare the shallots, garlic, tomatoes and basil and set aside. Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and cook your favorite pasta according to package instructions.
  3. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. When hot, add the chicken and pan-fry each side for several minutes until chicken is just cooked and the chicken is nice and brown on the outside. When chicken is done, remove from skillet and set aside.
  4. Turn heat to medium and add butter to the skillet. Stir in the shallots and garlic and cook for approximately 3-4 minutes. Add the roasted red peppers, chopped tomatoes with juice, cherry tomatoes, and salt and pepper. Stir well. Mix in the fresh basil, crushed red pepper, dry basil, dry parsley and lemon, and stir. Simmer to cook the roasted peppers and tomatoes down to a chunky sauce-like mixture, stirring occasionally.
  5. Finally, return the chicken breasts to the skillet and allow it to cook with the sauce for a few minutes before serving.
  6. Garnish with fresh parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

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