Tuesday, 26 June 2012

(reduced fat) Confetti Chicken Pasta

I found this recipe the other day, and decided to try out a slightly leaner version of it. It was sooo yummy, and freezes well, too. Here it is, with my reduce-the-fat changes!

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Reduced Fat Confetti Chicken Pasta
serves 4-6

For the Pasta:
16 oz. of Whole Wheat Penne Pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2-3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (the original recipe called for two, but I will use three large chicken breasts next time)
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ c. Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, diced
1 c. Broccoli florets
1 c. Asparagus, chopped in 1″ pieces
1 c. Grape Tomatoes

Cook your pasta and let it drain.  (tip: add a bit of olive oil to pasta water during cooking so the noodles don’t stick together). Sprinkle the chicken breast with salt and pepper. Heat skillet and spray with cooking spray, then cook chicken breasts over medium heat until no longer pink and juices run clear. Remove, cut into 1 inch cubes, and let rest in a large bowl.

Add the olive oil into the same pan you cooked the chicken in and begin sautéing the onions for 2 minutes. Add in the garlic and bell pepper and sauté another 2 minutes. Then toss in any other woody veggies (broccoli, asparagus) and cook about 5 minutes, saving the tomatoes until the very end. Cook another two minutes.

When everything is cooked, combine the veggies with the chicken in your big bowl. Now its time for the sauce!

For the spicy cream sauce:
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour (whole wheat or white)
2 c. fat-free half & half
1/4 tsp. of red pepper flakes
1 c. reduced fat Feta cheese or Parmesan cheese

In the same pan you cooked the chicken and veggies in, melt the butter over medium heat. Toss in the flour and stir, cooking 1-2 minutes.  (We are making a roux)

Slowly add in the half and half while stirring to prevent any clumps from forming.  Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes and allow to simmer until you see boiling action.  Stir periodically.

When your sauce begins to thicken and bubble, turn off the heat and add in your cheese. Stir until cheese has mostly melted.

To assemble, place pasta over chicken and veggies in your large bowl, and pour in the cream sauce. Mix everything well, and serve.  (reheat if ingredients have cooled)  I found it needed a little salt and pepper. Enjoy! :)

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