Sunday, December 12, 2010

Creamy Bow-Tie Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli

Easy meals can also be elegant, as illustrated in this Creamy Bow-Tie Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli. The clever use of convenience products can add up to full gourmet flavor with a little supermarket savvy. This  recipe, a combination of sauteed chicken breast strips, broccoli florets and bow-tie pasta in a creamy sauce, uses several time-saving supermarket offerings.

Purchase stir-fry ready chicken and washed and cut broccoli florets to save time at the cutting board. Then, you’ll only have to slice up a small red bell pepper. And forget time-intensive sauce making, as soft-spread cheese and chicken broth come together to form a creamy sauce.

There are several brands of garlic and herb soft-spread cheeses on the market, including Alouette, Rondele, and Boursin. Simply use whichever one you find at your favorite supermarket. The recipe comes together quickly, and is best served right away. Add mixed greens with a zesty balsamic vinaigrette and some good bread to complete the meal.

  • 8 ounces bow-tie pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 to 6.5-ounces garlic and herb soft-spread cheese*
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add bow ties and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring, until done, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside. Add broccoli, red bell pepper strips and chicken broth to skillet. Cover and simmer until broccoli is tender, about 5 minutes. Return chicken to skillet and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and add the cooked pasta and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.

Makes 4 servings.

*A 6.5-ounce container of Allouette garlic and herb cheese was used for testing purposes only.