This hearty pasta and chicken dish has a bright, fresh flavour thanks to the veggies and lemon juice. One of my favourite meals about twenty years ago, I think it may have initially been inspired by one of the Milk calendars way back when. I forgot all about it till a few weeks ago and was happy my family liked it as much as I did. You can prepare all the ingredients the night before, making it a great ‘throw it together in a hurry’ meal.
¼ cup olive oil, divided
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in ½” pieces
2 cups small broccoli florets
½ cup diced sweet onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ cup flour
2 cups milk
¼ cup white wine
¼ cup grated Parmesan
1 tsp grated lemon rind
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups dried penne *
1 ripe tomato, chopped
1/2 cup sliced green onions (green tops only)
* You can even cook the pasta ahead of time – just make sure it is truly al dente (tender-firm). Reheat the pasta by dumping it in a pot of boiling water for 90 seconds and then drain and top with sauce.
- Heat water in a large pot; when boiling cook penne to al dente. While pasta cooks, prepare the sauce.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in large fry pan. Sauté chicken over high heat until cooked. Remove from pan; set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon more oil to pan. Sauté broccoli until just beginning to soften (you want it still quite crisp). Remove from pan; set aside.
- Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Sauté onion, garlic, oregano until tender.
- Blend in flour and stir to cook for a minute or two.
- Gradually stir in milk, about ¼ cup at a time. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens.
- Add wine and stir.
- Stir in cheese, lemon rind and juice.
- Return chicken and broccoli to pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat until bubbling.
- Serve over hot cooked pasta and sprinkle with chopped tomato and green onions.