This comes from a Pam Anderson recipe. I love creamy pastas like alfredos, etc... but don't like all the fat. This recipe is a great solution. By using 2 percent evaporated milk, instead of heavy cream, the fat content is cut considerably. The flavor and consistency is still wonderful, in my opinion. I love this recipe because: it's lower in fat; you can use left-over chicken (or cooked rotisserie chicken); cooking the broccoli in the same pot as the pasta saves an extra pot to wash, it's an easy one-dish meal! There are many variations you could try with this recipe, too. Notes: 1.this recipe calls for diced tomatoes - if you'd prefer a more traditional alfredo-type sauce, I think you could probably omit the tomatoes and it would be just fine. 2. Also, if you like your pasta spicier you could add more red pepper flakes than the amount called for. 3. I find it very helpful to have all my ingredients prepped/chopped and ready before I start cooking - especially for this recipe. 4. Make sure you reserve about a cup of the pasta cooking water - it helps to thin out the finished product, if necessary. Have fun and enjoy!
- 1 lb dry pasta (I prefer fettucine or spaghetti noodles)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup 2% evaporated milk
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons butter (I use unsalted)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra for sprinkling
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts (I usually add even more)
- 1⁄2 cup drained petite diced tomato
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- Bring about 2 quarts of water to a boil - add a tablespoon of salt to the boiling water.
- Add pasta and use the cooking time given on the package to cook your pasta al dente. Stir frequently at first to prevent pasta from sticking.
- Add the broccoli to the boiling pasta water during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- Meanwhile, microwave broth, milk and garlic in a microwave-safe bowl until steamy hot (approx. 3 to 4 minutes). Then let it stand for a few minutes.
- Put butter in a saucepan over low heat.
- After butter melts, whisk in flour, then hot milk mixture. Whisk constantly over medium-low to medium heat until sauce thickens. This should take about 1 to 2 minutes. You judge as to when the sauce thickens up.
- Stir in parmesan, cooked chicken, tomatoes, basil and red pepper flakes.
- Salt and pepper to taste and let simmer for about 5 minutes to blend flavors.
- Drain pasta and broccoli, *reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid* and return to pasta pot.
- Pour cream sauce over pasta, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten.
- Toss and serve immediately with a light sprinkling of parmesan.