Pasta Primavera with Chicken
Grated Parmesan cheese (lots)
3 medium carrots
2 small zucchini
1 small head of broccoli florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 an onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 lb cooked, drained pasta (fettuccine, bow ties)
One Rotisserie Chicken, carved off the bone, cut into pieces that match your pasta shape.
- Cut carrots and zucchini lengthwise into thin slices. Add carrots, zucchini and broccoli to 1 inch boiling water in medium saucepan. Cook until crisp-tender.
- Drain; set aside.
- In the same saucepan add olive oil, onion and garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
- Gradually stir in broth, cream, grated Parmesan (min. 1/2 cup) and seasonings; simmer 5 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened.
- Add vegetables and heat thoroughly, stirring occasionally. Add pasta to vegetables and lightly toss. Add chicken if desired.
- Top with more grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Back in my 20’s I started making Pasta Primavera. This was always the dish made to celebrate the bounty of fresh, seasonal vegetables during the summer months. I recall using copious amounts of butter and heavy cream. Low cholesterol and heart friendly were not in anyone’s vocabulary at that time. Along the Path I came across a recipe called Pasta with Fresh Vegetables in Garlic Sauce on http://www.theculinarychase.com It was the first time I had seen someone use a combination of chicken stock and cream in a Pasta Primavera type dish. Over the years I began using chicken stock with half and half with good results. Then I started tossing in cooked rotisserie chicken. The kids ate it so I kept making it.
Tips – try different vegetable combinations. Mushrooms and red bell pepper are a good addition. So too are a handful of fresh spinach leaves. A dash of red pepper flakes will add some zip. If you want less fat in your sauce, cut back on the half and half, increase the chicken stock. Or if you want a richer sauce, more half and half, less stock. Toss in a pat of butter. This dish freezes well. Don’t make the mistake of using a full pound of pasta. You’ll end up with enough pasta for 8 people. Depending upon the size of the chicken, you might need only a half chicken for this dish.