Perfectly seared chicken served over pasta that's smothered in a garlic Parmesan cream sauce with spinach and bacon!
Shred the Parmesan cheese and set it aside to allow it to get to room temperature.
Toss the cheese with ½ Tablespoon of flour. This is optional but will help the sauce remain smooth when the cheese is melted into it.
In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil on medium-high heat.
Butterfly the chicken breast and cut the seam to create 2 thinner slices, each about an inch thick. Season each side generously with Italian seasoning and desired amounts of salt and pepper.
Sear the chicken in the hot skillet on each side. Refrain from moving the chicken around as it sizzles, it will hinder the nice golden sear color. If the pan gets too hot, reduce the heat to medium. Each side will take 3-5 minutes. Once each side is a nice, golden brown and the middle is cooked, set the chicken aside.
While the bacon cooks, prepare the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Temper the half and half by heating it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add the half and half to the skillet and increase the heat to medium-high, stirring constantly. Once it starts to lightly bubble, decrease the heat to low.
Slowly sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese, stirring as you do so.
Once well-combined, add the tomatoes, spinach, and red pepper flakes. Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes have softened slightly. Use a silicone spatula to gently mix in the penne.