It has been one heck of a week for us here – we finally moved into our new home this weekend! Of course, with that it almost requires a stint in light combat training in order to walk through the kitchen and I’m not sure if I’ll ever find my pots and pans…which hopefully means that there is set of stainless steel beauties in my near future.
But no matter, the boxes will eventually get emptied, the mounds of packing paper will make their way to the dumpster in our front yard (I’ll bet our neighbors love that), I’ll find a place for the kitchen table, and maybe I’ll even be able to cook dinner when my parents come to visit this weekend. Speaking of cooking, let me mention the first new purchases for the kitchen and how much I already adore them.
I’ve made it a point to make these books staples in this new kitchen (I promise that pics are coming once I get it cleaned and organized!) and after having made a few recipes from Baking Illustrated, chicken pot pie with savory crumble topping from The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook, and these baked panko chicken fingers from the ATK Healthy Family Cookbook, I know this won’t be an issue. This penne with chicken, broccoli, and sundried tomato recipe hails from the Healthy Family Cookbook and it’s a definite keeper. With the anticipation of packers and movers invading our old house last week before the move, I made this dish to make sure we had a decent homemade meal for a few nights that only needed to be reheated in the microwave. And in fact, more that just decent. So with whole wheat penne, a ton of fresh garlic, quickly sautéed sliced chicken breasts, bright green broccoli, and a full 1/2 cup of sundried tomatoes, this meal packs a punch without a whole lot of fat or calories. A creamy sauce is created with just some white wine, chicken broth, and pasta water and it coats the pasta beautifully. We both loved this meal so much that we may have argued over the last of the leftovers. It’s not a big deal though since it was so easy to throw together that I imagine we’ll be having it again soon. Once I find those darn pots and pans.
Penne with Chicken, Broccoli, and Sundried Tomatoes
source: adapted from The Healthy Family Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and sliced thin
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1/2 cup oil-packed sundried tomatoes, rinsed, patted dry, and sliced thin
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp anchovy paste
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes plus additional for serving
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup (1 oz) Asiago cheese, grated
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 lb broccoli, florets only, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 12 oz whole wheat penne (or 16 oz if that is how your penne is packaged)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced into ribbons
- Heat 1 1/2 tsp of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned but not fully cooked, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
- Lower the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 1/2 tsp of the oil to the skillet. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sundried tomatoes, garlic, anchovy paste, and red pepper flakes; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the broth and wine and bring to a simmer, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes.
- While the sauce thickens, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil; add the broccoli and 1 tbsp Kosher salt. Cook, stirring often until the broccoli is crisp-tender, about 2-3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Cook the pasta in the same water according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining.
- Once the sauce has thickened, return the chicken and any juices to the skillet. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the Asiago and season with salt and pepper.
- Return the drained pasta to its pot and transfer the chicken mixture, broccoli, and basil to the pot; toss to combine. If the sauce is too thick, stir in some of the reserved pasta water until it reaches a desired consistency. Sprinkle some additional red pepper flakes over the top of the pasta before serving, if desired. Serve hot.