Chicken Marsala with Campanelle, Spinach, & Ricotta

I was in the mood for a good chicken marsala one day.  I had never made a marsala sauce before so after researching a few recipes I came up with this one and I was so happy it was a success.  I also had some unused spinach and ricotta, so I thought I would try adding it to the dish and it turned out wonderful!

Chicken Marsala with Campanelle, Spinach, & Ricotta
recipe by Sabrina W. for eat drink and be merry
yields 4 servings
2 chicken breasts, marinated (recipe below)
2 cups baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 oz baby spinach
1/3 cup marsala wine or marsala cooking wine
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon flour
1/8 cup half & half, brought to room temperature
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup beef broth
1/4 cup marinade juices from the cooked chicken
1/2 box of campanelle pasta
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Marsala Marinade
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons marsala wine
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Place chicken in a small casserole dish. Whisk together ingredients and pour over chicken.  Cover with aluminum foil and let marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.  Bake chicken in the oven for 20 minutes. Once cooked through, let chicken rest for 5 minutes and slice into small pieces.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta as directed.  Add the flour to the softened butter, mix well, and set aside. This is a great trick to thickening any sauce. You never have to worry about lumpy flour. Mix ricotta cheese with salt and pepper and set aside. I love ricotta but sometimes it seems bland to me. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet.  Add shallot and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure not to let the garlic burn.  Add mushrooms, sprinkle with thyme and saute for 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in marsala wine. Let reduce for 1 minute.  Add beef broth and chicken juices and stir.  Bring heat to med-low and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add the butter to pan and whisk until blended.  This will thicken the sauce to a light gravy. Remove from heat and add the half and half. Add spinach to a serving bowl.  Drain pasta and toss with spinach.  Add marsala sauce mixture and toss.  Add ricotta cheese, toss again, and top with shredded parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!

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