Weekly Winner:  Perfect Pre-Run Pasta

Don’t let the title of this post fool you.  I have stated numerous times that I am, in no way, shape or form a runner.  However hubby is and he meets up with his running group every Saturday morning for runs of various lengths. This means that for as long as I can remember, Friday nights have been “pasta night” around here.  This is a definite perk for the non-runner in the household — I’m guaranteed at least one pasta dinner a week!

For quite a while now, said runner-hubby has been searching for the perfect pre-run pasta.  Some pasta with a lean protein such as chicken to accompany it.  Now while it would be easy to simply grill some chicken and whip up a pasta with a prepared sauce — where’s the fun in that?

I’m happy to announce that we now have our “Go-To Friday Night Pasta”.  Pasta alla Vodka with chicken cutlets and sundried tomatoes. The recipe comes from Cuisine at Home is just what hubby’s been looking for.  It has even made him reconsider his stance on sundried tomatoes. He’s never been a big fan of them before but loved them in this dish.  And, its super-yummy and just decadent enough to make me happy as I curl up on a Friday night after a hectic week in the kitchen.  To top all that off.  It’s easy!  He gets chicken and pasta, and I get pasta in a luscious cream sauce and chicken that’s crunchy on the outside and incredibly juicy on the inside.  Everyone goes home happy!  Well, OK, actually we’re already home, but you know what I mean!

Pasta alla Vodka with Chicken Cutlets & Sundried Tomatoes

Serves 4


8 oz dry campanelle pasta (or, in my house, 8 oz of whatever bits and pieces you have left over)

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

6 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, divided

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, coated with olive oil

1/2 cup minced oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained and oil reserved

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 cup diced onions

2 Tbsp tomato paste

1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic

1 cup vodka

1/3 cup chicken broth

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 cup shredded pecorino


  1. Cook pasta in pot of boiling, salted water according to package directions; drain.
  2. Combine bread crumbs and 2 Tbsp parsley in a shallow dish.
  3. Pound breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap with a meat mallet to 1/2 inch thick cutlets; season with salt and pepper and coat both sides of chicken in bread crumb mixture.
  4. Heat reserved sundried tomato oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Arrange cutlets in pan; saute until brown, 4 minutes per side.  Transfer to a plate; tent with foil.
  5. Melt butter in same pan.  Add onions, tomato paste and garlic; cook until onions soften, 2 minutes.  Remove heat from pan.
  6. Add vodka and return pan to heat; cook until reduced by half, 2-3 minutes.  Add broth and sundried tomatoes and simmer 3 minutes.
  7. Stir in cream and pepper flakes, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 2 minutes.  Add pasta, pecorino and remaining 4 Tbsp parsley; season with salt and black pepper.  Divide pasta among four plates and top with cutlets.