Rosemary Chicken & Goat Cheese Pasta

Creamy, cheesy hearty chicken & pasta dish that your entire family will love!
A creamy, cheesy hearty chicken & pasta dish that your entire family will be sure to love!

This is one of those dishes that I had to hide the fact that goat cheese, is the cheese in this “mac and cheese” from the kids the first time I made it. In fact, thinking back, I don’t think I had ever tried goat cheese either, but I knew I was going to have to make it. It looked good and sounded even better. I saw Michael Symon talk about this pasta on his show, The Chew. This is his most requested recipe at his restaurant, Lola. I watched the demonstration and knew I would be making it for dinner that night, but MY way.

I tried it and LOVED it! Once the kids inhaled it and asked for more I knew it would be a go to dinner. It’s hard to please everyone in my household!

I decided to wait until the next time I served it to tell the kids that I used goat cheese. I thought for sure they would be turned off by it, but the response was, “Well, I guess we like goat cheese!” YES!!! We have a winner! Winner, winner chicken dinner!!! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist) 😉

It’s easy to make and you don’t need a lot of ingredients. It does take a little time and it needs constant stirring, so be prepared to hang out in the kitchen for a good 20 minutes to half an hour babysitting the sauce. It will be worth it though, I promise!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 pound Dried Rigatoni {I also like Penne Rigate & Cavatappi}
  • 1 quart {4 cups} Half & Half – or Light Cream
  • 2 tablespoon Fresh Rosemary – finely chopped
  • 8 ounce Fresh Goat Cheese {Garlic Herb is Awesome, too}
  • Shredded Rotissierie Chicken Meat – use it all
  • Kosher Salt & Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • Granulated Garlic – or 1 to 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Optional: Buttery bread crumbs to sprinkle over the top!

Here’s how you make it:

  • Bring water to a boil for your pasta, be sure to add a lot of salt to the water.
    ( It takes about the same amount of time to get the water boiling & pasta cooked to al dente, while the sauce is reducing )
  • In a large saucepan, over medium-high heat, put in the half & half, rosemary, and a good pinch of salt, pepper and granulated garlic, or finely minced garlic, I use a handheld microplane / zester for garlic.
  • Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium-low and reduce the mixture by half.
    This takes about 20-25 minutes. Stir frequently. It will start to form a thin layer over the top if it sits for too long and you don’t want it to stick to the bottom either!
  • When the half & half reduces by half, add the goat cheese. I like to break it up before adding it to the cream, it helps melt it a little quicker
  • When the goat cheese has melted, add all of the shredded meat from a rotisserie chicken and gently stir. Cover and let it sit over low heat, if the pasta still needs more time.
  • When the pasta is al dente, scoop it out of the pot with a strainer, slotted spoon or spider and add it to the cheese & chicken mixture. It’s okay if pasta water gets into the mixture. It will also help loosen it up if the mixture gets too thick
  • Mix thoroughly
  • Sprinkle a light layer of seasoned salt over the top & mix again. Taste & adjust seasoning to your preference.
  • Serve immediately. Keep pasta covered. If it starts to thicken up after it’s been sitting, add a little bit of pasta water.
  • You could should also serve this with some crispy, buttery bread crumbs over the top!!!
  • Mix together about 1/2 cup of Italian or Seasoned bread crumbs with an equal amount of plain panko bread crumbs.
  • Put at least 4 Tbsp of butter in a small pan and brown the butter, slightly – Add the bread crumbs and toast. Stir constantly and remove from heat once browned, they will continue to brown! Add more butter if ya want to induldge!
  • Sprinkle over the pasta and enjoy, thoroughly!!!

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