Ever wondered how to make a creamy pasta sauce without cream? There are lots of ways to cut calories in recipes, but here is a chicken and broccoli pasta recipe which uses chicken broth, broccoli, milk and a touch of flour to create a luscious sauce which is cream, butter and cheese free. I believe my husbands exact words were, “Really? But it tastes like it should be ridiculously bad for me!”
Creamy Chicken Linguine with Broccoli Sauce(serves 2)
Heat a medium sized heavy saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat. Slice the chicken breast into small, bite sized pieces and toss with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the teaspoon of olive oil to the pot and swirl to coat. Allow to heat through for 10 seconds and then add the chicken. Cook the chicken, flipping partway until just cooked through. While the chicken is cooking you can dice your onion and mince your garlic. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and set aside. Put a large pot of water on to a boil, this will be for cooking your pasta.
Turn the heat down to medium low and stir in the onion. Cook over medium low heat for 3 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and stir regularly until fragrant. While the onion and garlic are cooking it is a good time to chop up your broccoli. First separate the florets from the stalk. Trim the end of the stalk and any rough areas on the outside. Chop the stalk small, you should have about 1 cup of chopped stalk. When the garlic has been cooking for a minute add in the chopped broccoli stalk. Add a pinch of salt and put the lid on for 5 minutes, opening and stirring occasionally.
To prepare the florets, chop them into large bites and set aside. After your 5 minutes are up stir in the white wine and bring to a simmer, simmer until almost dry and add 1 tablespoon of flour. Stir the flour into the mixture, and cook, stirring regularly, for 3 more minutes. Stir in the broth and milk and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the broccoli is tender. Transfer to a blender (or use an immersion blender) and puree. Return to the pot over medium low heat. This is a good time to check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if you like.
Add the chopped broccoli to the pot, cover and cook for 3 minutes, once the 3 minutes are up, stir in your chicken, and the chill flakes and cover again.
Salt your boiling water, and add the pasta, cook according to package directions. Drain. Check your broccoli, if you like it quite soft it may need more time, right about now it should be soft, but still with a slight bite. Taste the sauce one more time and add salt and pepper to taste. Toss the pasta with the sauce, and serve.