Creamy pappardelle with chicken and bacon is an easy, tasty, and under-35-minute solution to your dinner woes. Pick up a rotisserie chicken on the way home and you’re halfway there. Boil some noodles, cook some bacon, and you’re done.
This recipe recalls a classic Italian pasta sauce with braised rabbit, with rotisserie chicken (or any cooked chicken you have on hand) standing in for the rabbit. I’m all for tradition but I’m even more for messing with it. Learn the rules, then break ’em. Now put on a pot of water. Nothing beats a rich and creamy pasta dish on a cold and rainy night, especially one that’s full of chicken, bacon, and cream.–Antoni Porowski
HOW DO I REHEAT LEFTOVER CREAMY PASTA?
Sadly, creamy and cheesy pasta doesn’t always reheat well but with a little care, it can be done with great results. On the stovetop, add a little milk or cream and gently reheat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. In the microwave, add cream or milk and cook on a low wattage reheat setting, stirring once or twice.
Using your oven isn’t practical for reheating a single serving but if you have quite a bit to reheat, it’s a good way to do it. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Place the leftover pasta in a baking dish, spreading it out so that it warms evenly and quickly. Again, add a little bit of cream or milk and stir. Cover with tinfoil and let warm, checking on it after 5 minutes. Depending on how much you’re reheating, it might take longer.
Creamy Pappardelle with Chicken and Bacon
- Kosher salt
- 8 ounces (about 2 cups) thick-cut bacon cut crosswise into 1/2 inch (13 mm) wide pieces
- 3/4 cup (4 oz) finely chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves gently smashed and peeled
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary or 1 1/4 teaspoons dried rosemary
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 16 ounces pappardelle or other wide noodles
- 1 medium (4 oz) carrot finely chopped
- 6 cups (from 1 large chicken) shredded rotisserie chicken at room temperature
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving
- Coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for serving (optional)
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to boil over medium-high heat.
- Meanwhile, in a skillet large enough to hold the cooked pasta, cook the bacon, stirring frequently, until just cooked through with crispy edges, 5 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate, leaving the fat in the pan.
- Add the onion, garlic, rosemary, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is tender, 3 to 5 minutes (do not brown). Add the cream, bring to a simmer, and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, add the pappardelle and carrots to the boiling water and cook until the pasta is al dente and the carrots are tender, 5 to 6 minutes. (If using other wide noodles, boil until al dente, adding the carrots 5 to 6 minutes before the pasta is done.) Reserving 1 1/2 cups (350 ml) of the pasta water, drain the pasta in a colander.
- Add the pasta to the sauce, then 3/4 cup (180 ml) of the pasta water, the chicken, the reserved bacon, and toss to combine. Cook over low heat until the chicken is warmed through, 3 to 5 minutes. Add more pasta water to loosen the sauce, if desired.
- Top with cheese, parsley, if using, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I really, really loved this creamy pappardelle with chicken and bacon recipe for the flavors (bacon, bacon, bacon) and the ease with which it came together. The sauce is so simple with a base of bacon fat and cream and requires minimal additional seasoning. I’ll be adding this to my go-to easy weeknight dinner file. My entire family was a fan.
You could vary the vegetables you add to this pasta, such as peas or spinach, which could also be cooked along with the pasta and carrots (or in place of). An added bonus is your kitchen will smell like bacon for an entire day afterward. I served this with a simple green salad and our meal was complete.
This easy pasta dish was a breeze to toss together on a busy weeknight. Using store-bought rotisserie chicken made it very fast to do, but this would be great with any leftover chicken or a homemade roasted chicken. With some cream, plenty of bacon, and a little bit of veg for good measure, the whole family was happy.
Originally published October 28, 2021