I'm in love with Pinterest when it comes to finding recipes. I think I have more Pinterest boards devoted to food than anything else! I found this pasta recipe after following a link for a dessert recipe. It took me to Annie's Eats, a blog that has enough recipes to keep your family fed and happy for a year.
Here's the recipe, and below it I'll give my own review and modifications.
Pasta with Roasted Garlic, Cheddar & Chicken
8 oz tube shaped pasta, like penne rigati
1½ tbsp butter
¼ cup roasted garlic paste**
1½ tbsp. flour
¼ cup dry white wine
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups broccoli cuts or florets, cooked to desired doneness
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite size pieces
salt & pepper
Directions: Bring large pot of water to boil and cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain and return pasta to pot.
Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat in large skillet. When butter is melted, whisk in the roasted garlic paste and cook just until fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Whisk the flour into the mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to turn golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Stir the white wine and broth into the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Lower heat to low and remove pan from burner. Whisk in cheddar until melted. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Return pan to burner and add chicken and broccoli. Stir until heated through.
Pour chicken/broccoli mixture over pasta and stir until evenly coated. Serves 8.
**To make roasted garlic paste, peel the outer papery skins off two heads of garlic, leaving the heads 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° for one hour. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic cloves out of the peels and mash with a fork. You now have roasted garlic paste.
I made slight modifications to the original recipe for my own convenience. The original recipe calls for grilled chicken. I chose to bake the chicken at the same time the garlic was roasting in the oven. Why do two steps when I can get both done at once? I'm sure grilled chicken would make this recipe so much better so if you want to use it I say go for it. Just don't forget to tell me what time to show up for dinner! I also used shredded cheddar I had on hand, which was a mix of white and yellow (the original recipe calls for white). And one last thing - since I don't cook with wine I just substituted with 1/4 cup of chicken broth.
This meal with all it's cheesy, garlic-y goodness tasted fabulous. I will definitely be adding this to my regular rotation of meals. I think it's going to replace my tortellini with garlic sauce meal that I've been making for a few years (I can always substitute the penne with tortellini). The sauce is cheesy but light and garlic-y (is that a word?) without being overwhelming. I thought the sauce would be thick like macaroni & cheese but it's not at all. I was amazed at how good this is.
The only drawback is that this recipe makes a lot. I never cook a whole box of pasta at once but since I don't like to change measurements when making new recipes, I went with it. I swear we had enough to feed a small army. There are four of us and we had enough leftovers for an entire second meal plus a lunch or two. Next time I'll cut the recipe in half. Half of my family isn't fond of pasta/garlic-y recipes a second time around (though they didn't seem to mind it the first time around).
Here's a printable version Pasta with Roasted Garlic, Cheddar & Chicken
And more recipes on my blog: Pieces of Me Recipes
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