Creamy Chicken and Charred Broccoli Pasta
Let’s be real: few things are more comforting than a rich, creamy pasta dish. In our version, you’ll cook your pasta with the garlic, onion, and cream as well as water, so the noodles absorb those delicious flavors and add their starch to your sauce, giving it a richer consistency. Charring your broccoli before adding it lends a smoky flavor to the dish—the perfect complement to that cheesy sauce
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 6 cups sliced broccoli florets
(from about 2 heads broccoli)
• Kosher salt
and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
(about 3 breasts), cut into 1-inch cubes
• 1 small yellow onion
, finely chopped
• 2 garlic cloves
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
, such as sauvignon blanc or chardonnay
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 1 pound penne
or other tubular pasta
• 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
, plus more for serving
• Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
, for serving
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add half the broccoli and cook, without stirring, for 2 minutes to develop a little char on the broccoli. Season with salt and pepper, then stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is tender, about 3 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and broccoli.
2. Add the butter to the pot and swirl to evenly coat. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until the chicken is golden brown in spots and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to the bowl with the broccoli.
3. Add the onion and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally until soft and beginning to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until it has completely evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the onion mixture and stir to cook the raw taste out of the flour, 2 minutes. Whisk in the cream and 4 cups water and bring to a strong simmer. Stir in the pasta and cook, stirring often, until the pasta is cooked to al dente and the liquid has reduced to the consistency of a creamy sauce, 15 minutes. Stir in the broccoli and chicken and cook for 1 minute to warm through.
5. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the Parmesan, then season with salt and pepper. Spoon the pasta into bowls and sprinkle with more Parmesan and parsley. Serve hot.
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