Penne with Artichoke Hearts and Chicken Cream

Serves 2

8 oz. Mostaccioli, Radiatore or other medium pasta shape, uncooked
1 8-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained (about 1 cup)
1 tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
4 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup evaporated skimmed milk
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard with seeds
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, squeeze as much water from the artichoke hearts as possible and cut each piece in half lengthwise.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and artichoke hearts. Sauté, stirring frequently, until chicken is golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add the evaporated skimmed milk, parsley and mustard to the pan and stir to remove the brown bits from the bottom and sides of the pan. Heat to boiling and boil until the liquid is reduced in volume by half.

Drain the pasta and transfer it to the skillet. (If the skillet is not deep or large enough to hold both the pasta and the sauce, return the pasta to the cooking pot and add the contents of the skillet to the pot.) Heat over low heat, stirring, until the pasta is mixed well with the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste; toss in Parmesan cheese if desired. Divide between two serving bowls and serve immediately.