Monday, February 6, 2012

Chicken and Broccoli Pasta in Roasted Garlic, White Wine, and White Cheddar Sauce

The title of this recipe is kind of a mouthful, huh? I was trying to shorten it a bit, but I didn’t know where I should. All of the ingredients listed play an important part in this dish, and they all work together to create a luxurious meal that is truly divine, and that I will make again and again.

What I loved the most about this pasta was the sauce. It’s a cheese sauce, but the base is wine and chicken broth rather than milk, so it’s not heavy at all. The cheddar works so well with the white wine, and the roasted garlic provides richness and sweetness that balance the sharp cheddar so perfectly. As long as you roast the garlic ahead of time, this meal comes together in no time at all. It’s quick enough for a weeknight family dinner, but it’s fancy enough for company (or, ahem, an at-home Valentine’s Day feast).

Chicken and Broccoli Pasta in Roasted Garlic, White Wine, and White Cheddar Sauce
adapted from Annie’s Eats (and originally from the sadly now-defunct Good Things Catered)

16 ounces penne pasta
3 tablespoons butter
2 heads garlic
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets and blanched until crisp-tender
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled and cut into bite size pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Peel the outer papery skins off two heads of garlic, leaving the heads still intact. Slice about a quarter off the top of each head so that all of the cloves are partly exposed. Wrap the heads in foil and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool enough to touch, squeeze the garlic cloves out of the peels and smash with a fork to make roasted garlic paste.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente according to the package directions.

3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet or saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the roasted garlic paste and cook just until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Whisk the flour into the mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to turn golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Stir the white wine and broth into the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cheddar and stir until melted. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Mix in the broccoli florets and chicken pieces, and cook just until heated through. Mix in the cooked pasta until evenly coated with the sauce. Serve warm.


Aarthi said...

Awesome pasta.Bookmarked..


Sarah - The Home Cook said...

I've made this one before and really liked it.

Anonymous said...

I can't cook very well and I Just made this for my husbands b-day dinner it was so good! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Would you use sharp or mild cheddar?