Jen, Wing Ning, and I made this for my parents last night for our New Year’s Eve dinner. It’s hearty, though not overly heavy (but Jen discovered one of the secrets to cooking when she spied the small block of butter being melted into the sauce at the very end). The pasta was also great at lunch today. Served with salad and garlic bread.
Pasta with Chicken, Broccoli, and Sun-dried Tomatoes
from America’s Test Kitchen
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts , trimmed of fat and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
1 small onion , chopped fine (about 2/3 cup)
6 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bunch broccoli (about 1 1/2 pounds), florets trimmed into 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups), stems discarded
1/2 pound penne pasta , ziti, cavatappi, or campanelle
2 ounces grated Asiago cheese (1 cup), plus extra for serving
1 jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (7 to 8 1/2 ounces), rinsed, patted dry, and cut into 1/4-inch strips (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
Ground black pepper
1 lemon , cut into wedges (optional)
1. Bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil, covered, in stockpot.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon butter in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Add chicken in single layer; cook for 1 minute without stirring, then stir chicken and continue to cook until most, but not all, of pink color has disappeared and chicken is lightly browned around the edges, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to clean bowl; set aside.
3. Return skillet to high heat and add 1 tablespoon butter; add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned about edges, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, and flour; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and chicken broth; bring to simmer, then reduce heat to medium and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened slightly and reduced to 1 1/4 cups, about 15 minutes.
4. While sauce simmers, add 1 tablespoon salt and broccoli to boiling water; cook until broccoli is tender but still crisp at center, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer broccoli to large paper towel-lined plate. Return water to boil; stir in pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water; return pasta to pot.
5. Stir remaining 2 tablespoons butter, Asiago, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, and chicken into sauce in skillet; cook until chicken is hot and cooked through, about 1 minute. Off heat, season to taste with pepper. Pour chicken/sauce mixture over pasta and add broccoli; toss gently to combine, adding pasta cooking water as needed to adjust sauce consistency. Serve immediately, passing additional Asiago and the lemon wedges (if using) separately.