Thursday, October 5, 2017

Broccoli-Cheese-Chicken Pasta

(with vegetarian option)

Photo by@joe foodie via Flickr

Got leftover chicken and looking for a new way to use it up? Try this!

500 gr (16 oz) pasta such as penne, rotini, or farfalle

1 cup broccoli florets, cut small

1 to 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cut into bite-sized bits (optional)

3 tbsp olive oil
(or half olive oil, half butter)
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
½ cup white wine
1 cup seasoned chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup cream
1 cup milk
1 to 2 cups shredded white cheese (jack, cheddar, Tussers, etc)
½ cup crumbled gorgonzola or other strongly-flavoured cheese  (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Grated Parmesan to top

Set pasta to boil in heavily salted water. When it is done reserve one cup of pasta water, then drain in colander and once thoroughly drained, return to the pot. Add chicken pieces and toss.

Steam or microwave broccoli until just tender. Drain thoroughly, then add to drained pasta and toss.

Peel onion and cut in half through the root; slice each half thinly, creating half-rounds
Peel and mince garlic

While pasta cooks, heat oil in large heavy skillet. Add onions and sauté until onion is soft and translucent. Add garlic and sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about another minute.

Add wine, reduce heat, cook until liquid is reduced by more than half. Add chicken/vegetable stock and bring to the boil.

Reduce heat and add cream and milk. Simmer, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to thicken. Add cheese, a handful at a time, and stir in; add more handfuls as the cheese melts. Add the strongly-flavoured cheese, if desired, at the end and stir until melted.

Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour over pasta and stir in. It sauce is too thick to coat pasta easily, add some of the reserved pasta water, a little at a time, to loosen up the sauce.

Sprinkle with grated Parmesan to top

Serve hot or cold (like a pasta salad).

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