This recipe was born purely from a TikTok trend. My friend Becky had shown me a recipe she found on TikTok that included baby tomatoes, feta cheese, olive oil, Italian seasonings, and pasta. The first time I tried the dish both Cole and I agreed that it was good, but there was a lot that could be done to make it even better. With a lot of changes and additions of ingredients, this dish has become something that Cole and I have absolutely fallen in love with, and I anticipate making a lot more in the future, especially since it is so easy to make, and leaves a bunch of leftovers that can be reheated throughout the week.
2 pints Grape Tomatoes
2 ½ tbsp Olive Oil (divided)
15 oz Skim Ricotta Cheese
2 tsp Minced Garlic
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp Dried Onion Flakes
12 oz Tri Colored Rotini
15 oz Alfredo Sauce
8 oz Shredded Chicken Breast
1 ½ cup Broccoli Florets
½ cup Panko Bread Crumbs
2 tbsp Butter
½ tsp Garlic Powder
1. Lay out the tomatoes in an even layer across the bottom of a 3 quart baking dish. Make sure they are all touching the bottom. Do not stack them. Pour 2 tbsp of Olive Oil on top of them and sprinkle them with dried thyme, basil, black pepper, and salt. There should be just enough seasoning to be visible. Stir it all together making sure to resituate it in a way where all the tomatoes are once again in a layer across the bottom.
2. Steam the broccoli florets until they are fork tender, about 5 minutes. Spread them on top of the tomatoes. Place the ricotta cheese in the middle of the pan, pour the remaining ½ tbsp of olive oil on top of it, and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
3. While the tomatoes are baking, shred the cooked chicken breast into bite sized pieces, and cook the pasta according to the box instructions. When the pasta is done cooking, strain it and mix it together with the alfredo sauce.
4. After the tomatoes are done cooking, stir the mixture together. Any tomatoes that do not break apart during stirring should be popped open by pressing them to the side of the pan with a large serving spoon.
Kitchen Tip: Make sure to wear an apron when popping the tomatoes. They may splatter as they pop.
5. Mix in the pasta, shredded chicken, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes. Bake this mixture for 8 more minutes.
6. Melt the butter and combine in a small bowl with the panko and garlic powder. Spread this mixture on top of the pasta. Bake for 3 more minutes to brown the panko.
Kitchen Tip: If you like a little bit of spice you can sprinkle a small amount of red pepper flakes across the top too.
This dish is amazingly hearty, filling, and makes for delicious leftovers the next day too If you are a pasta fanatic, you are absolutely going to love this recipe!