This Chicken Marsala Pasta is one of the quickest and most flavorful dinners around. Made with a handful of weeknight fridge and pantry staples it is just as good for a quick family meal as it is for a fancy date night at home. Feel free to customize the noodle - I love to use campanelle as you see here, but any pasta works.
Mushrooms & Marsala - a love story
I have been food obsessed my entire life, and, as a result, I have lots of little notebooks full of thoughts, recipe ideas, flavor combinations, and doodles. I found one the other day where I had scribbled "Mushrooms+marsala=Love." It made me laugh and shake my head at myself, but it's so true. They are such complimentary flavors; they belong together. This Chicken Marsala Pasta allows their flavors to really shine and it couldn't be easier.
Mushrooms are one of those things - one of those polarizing things. You love them or hate them, but I am a long time mushroom lover. I was the weird child who begged my grandmother to make homemade cream of mushroom soup. I grew up within walking distance of a river, and my dad used to take me mushroom hunting along the mossy fern-covered trails that led to it. He even had a little mushroom field guide to make sure we weren't coming home from our adventures with a bundle of poisonous fungi. I loved it, and I always felt like we were being sneaky and living dangerously.
Chicken Marsala Pasta - on a whim
So one night, I came home and assessed what I had in the fridge. With three chicken breasts that I pulled out of the freezer the night before, not knowing what I would use them for (story of my life), and two containers of cremini mushrooms. I thought "hmmmm.... chicken marsala?" I love good chicken marsala. (Isn't it silly when people say things like that? As if anyone would ever love bad chicken marsala.) But, anyway, I love it. It is such a flavorful dish, made up of just a few simple ingredients that work so harmoniously together.
Knowing I had a bottle of marsala in my trusty pantry, my mind was made up (I keep an inexpensive bottle around, just for cooking, it comes in handy). So, I started to wonder what I would serve it with, and pasta was the obvious choice, as you need something to soak up the yummy juices. Then I decided I would combine them, rather than cook the chicken and serve it atop the pasta.
It was a really good idea. And my family loved it. Here's how I made it.