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This is the post formerly known as “But what does Peter Pipe DO with all those peppers?” I thought about naming it, “I made up a recipe and it was actually good.” But that didn’t seem very uplifting. I also considered calling it, “But isn’t garlic good for you?” Then I remembered the vampire craze that just will not die down (kind of like a vampire, I guess), and I decided against that, too.

It’s too bad I can’t get someone to write titles for me. Short, pithy anything just isn’t my style. (Just scroll on down for the recipe, if you’re not up for the story behind this dish!)

Anyway.

It all started last week when Annalyn and I went to the grocery store. Not the Super Walmart, where we get most our groceries, but the smaller and more expensive grocery store that’s conveniently on our way home. The one with the reasonable parking lot and the cute mini shopping carts that I could use if only I ever ventured to the grocery store sans kiddo.

As we walked through the produce section, I decided to take a minute and point out the varied brightly colored fruits and vegetables to Annalyn.

And then we saw them: big, beautiful, spot-free red peppers. I had to have them. Two of them, to be exact. Two enormous red peppers that put the puny one already residing my fridge to veggie shame.

I didn’t immediately think, “Oh, I’d better find a way to use these peppers!” After all, we both like peppers of any shape and color in fajitas and quesadillas, and Annalyn loves raw peppers to snack on.

But then, a few days later, I found a partial box of bowtie pasta in the pantry. And the wheels started turning.

I decided I would make a chicken pasta dish with red peppers. I just needed a recipe.

Easier said than done! I searched all over the vast cookbook known as The Internet. And I could not find what I wanted.

Not exactly what I wanted, that is. I found recipes for chicken dishes, recipes for all sorts of carbonara (with spaghetti or linguine), recipes for cold pasta salads and recipes for fancy, 28-ingredient triumphs. I even consulted the Pioneer Woman. But I did not find a simple recipe for a chicken, red pepper and bowtie pasta dish.

So I made my own recipe. I didn’t completely disregard the many wrong recipes I found, though. I kept their quantities in mind when I threw together crafted my own dish. And, if I say so myself, it turned out pretty well!

Garlic Chicken Pasta with Red Peppers

2 large chicken breasts, grilled and thinly sliced
1 box bowtie (farfalle, if you’re fancy) pasta
1 large red pepper, sliced
½ pound bacon, cut into inch-sized pieces
3 garlic cloves, diced
½ large white onion, diced
1 jar alfredo sauce
Shredded parmesan cheese

[Side note: You may have caught on when you saw the word “bacon,” but I’ll tell you right now: This meal is not diet-friendly. Or Weight Watchers-approved. I’m pretty sure I could make a healthier version, but on this first round, I definitely did not.]

Boil the pasta (feel free to do it in the microwave like I did, if all your large pots happen to be dirty). Rinse and drain.

Fry the bacon on low to medium heat, stirring often. When the bacon is cooked through, put it in a bowl and set aside. Drain most – but, I’m sorry, not all – the drippings.

Add the onion and garlic to the drippings and sauté. It will smell ridiculous. As in, good. Once the onion and garlic are translucent, add the peppers and chicken.

You may have to add some chicken stock (or, water, if you’re like me and have never bought something so fancy as “chicken stock”) if it’s cooked down, otherwise everything will burn. And then it will smell ridiculous. As in, bad.

Combine chicken and vegetable mixture, pasta and sauce. Add the bacon.

Now, at this point, I put it all in the refrigerator and Mark took it out to re-warm about 13 hours later. I think this helped smush all the flavors together, and yes, that’s my technical term. Before serving, top with shredded Parmesan. Serve it up in a big beautiful bowl and enjoy with a nice Caesar salad and cheesy garlic bread.

Have you created any recipes that “actually” turned out well?

This post will be linked to Mouthwatering Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday. It will also be linked up to the Ingredient Spotlight at Eat at Home and Kelly’s Korner Show Us Your Life!

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