Recipe – Spicy Chicken Penne in Olive Tomato Sauce

September 5, 2008 at 8:16 am 4 comments

Being sick really sucks my friends. Unfortunately, I’ve been continually coughing for my fourth straight week and it has seriously cut into my willingness to cook and work on original recipes. Pair that with the holiday weekend and you have a near week with no recipes. This is certainly not the way I wanted to kick this thing off.

At any rate, I’m starting to feel a bit better and am working on a bunch of recipes to cook throughout September as it gets cooler here in the Mitten state (yes, I can point to the city I live in using the bottom side of my hand and still do it frequently… one of the little joys of living in Michigan!). Last night we made a Spicy Chicken Penne in an Olive Tomato Sauce… which is super fast and really warming, like the Pasta Puttanesca I made a few weeks back.

I didn’t make it in the door until 6:50 last night after a particularly long commute, but I’m pleased to say that this hit the table by 7:15, making it a nice quick meal (Rachel Ray eat your heart out!).


  • One and one-half cups whole wheat Penne Pasta
  • One Jar of your favorite pre-made tomato sauce, or use 2 cups canned tomato sauce
    and 2 tablespoons tomato paste to make your own version
  • 1 13 oz can of chunk chicken in water
  • 1/2 can of black olives – cut into thirds
  • 10-12 Manzanilla Olives – cut into thirds
  • 3 tablespoons dried red pepper flake
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons basil
  • 2 tablespoons
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Grated Romano cheese to taste

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, add pasta and cook according to directions.

2. As your pasta cooks, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat in a large pan, add chicken and cook until chicken begins to flake slightly.

3.Add pasta sauce, red pepper, basil and oregano and bring to a slight simmer. Add olives and cook mixture for 5 to 10 minutes to allow red pepper to marry with the sauce.

4. Toss with pasta and dust with some grated Romano.

What you’re left with is an amazingly flavorful pasta dish that’s really filling. The chunk chicken makes it really hearty. I’ve toyed with serving this in a bread bowl or a hollowed out section of French bread and then throwing it under the broiler and baking mozzarella over the top, or frying the noodles in garlic infused oil after they’ve cooked to give a crunchiness to the dish. Hope you enjoy it!


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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kat  |  September 5, 2008 at 10:55 am

    yummy! anything with olives in it has to be good. Matt & I can point to where were from on our hands too….

  • 2. Trisha  |  September 6, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    I’m so on top of a vegetarian version of this. Spicy tomato sauce is one of my new faves.

  • 3. Allen  |  September 6, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    3 TB of red pepper flakes? Holy-moly, that’s a sauce with a kick 🙂

    Sounds delicious, I’ve been craving olives lately and need to go pick some up. Get to feeling better and don’t stress over lack of posting … we all have our down weeks.

    p.s. I’m from the center part of the mitten. I love impressing friends by using my left hand as the upper peninsula.

  • 4. Daniel Eizans  |  September 7, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    I like a big kick Allen. And I LOVE olives… so they go into a lot of stuff I cook. I could live on olives, wine, great bread and cheese. I swear!

    Trisha, if you post or try the veggie recipe let me know. I’d love to twist this to give it a go for my wife.

    Kat, doesn’t pointing on your hand to tell people where you live give you a little comfort? I love that my state is always with me… even though we’re not going through our finest time, I can’t see myself anywhere else but the Mitten right now.


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