Man, that’s a long recipe title right? And it’s really still missing a few components like the grilled chicken and broccoli, but I didn’t think it needed a full paragraph for a title. This is an old recipe from the archives that I recently rediscovered, and I enjoyed it so much I though it deserved a second go-round. It’s easy enough to throw together pasta with some cheese, protein and veggies and get a pretty decent meal out of it. I really love this meal though because all the components combine to make something really special. The roasted garlic provides a ton of rich flavor to the sauce without making it heavy. This meal is very adaptable – quick enough for a weeknight, but nice enough for company. Just make sure to plan ahead and roast the garlic in advance!
8 oz. tube shaped pasta, such as penne
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 white cheddar cheese
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets and blanched until crisp-tender
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled and cut into bite size pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
*To make roasted garlic paste, peel the outer papery skins off two heads of garlic, leaving the heads still 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˚ F for one hour. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool enough to touch, squeeze the garlic cloves out of the peels and smash with a fork to make roasted garlic paste.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente according to the package directions.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet or saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Once the 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. Whisk in the cheddar and stir until melted. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
Mix in the broccoli florets and chicken pieces, and cook just until heated through. Mix in the cooked pasta until evenly coated with the sauce. Serve warm.