Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

Tonight I was in the mood for some pasta, and I really didn’t feel like going with the tomato sauce that I normally do.  I did however have lots of interesting stuff in the fridge to play with, heavy cream, asiago, parmesan, broccoli, garlic, some chicken.  I also decided that a little bit of pesto would add a nice bit of extra flavor.

Pesto is a great thing!  It has tons of flavor, and can be added to pasta, tomatoes, potatoes, meats, it can be used as a spread, whatever you want.  It is also very simple to make, and can be kept for quite a while in your freezer! A basic pesto is basil, garlic, parmesan, pine nuts, and olive oil. Need a recipe? If you feel traditional, make it with a mortar and pestle.  Or do what I do, Cuisinart!

2 oz basil leaves

3 tbsp toasted pine nuts

1 clove garlic

1/4 tsp kosher salt

2 oz parmesan

olive oil (to the consistency you like) I just kind of eyeball this, but by all means use the recipe above.  It is a great one from the CIA’s Professional Chef.  I used slivered almonds in place of the pine nuts, because they are a lot less expensive, and still give you a nice consistency. I also use some asiago as well as parmesan, just because it gives a nice flavor.

Next I started boiling my water for the pasta.   I also chopped some cooked chicken, cut the broccoli into bite sized pieces, and minced some garlic.   I then heated up my skillet, so that as soon as the pasta was almost ready I could start putting everything together.When I figured I had just a few minutes before the pasta was ready I added some oil, the chicken, broccoli, and garlic to the pan.  As soon as the pasta was ready I drained it, and added it to the skillet.  I mixed everything together, and added about a cup of cream, some parmesan, pesto, and salt and pepper.  I mixed it all together, and added more cheese.  The cheese is really your thickener here, so as it cooks keep an eye on it.  Add more if you need to.  I like lots of cheese in mine!Obviously, the noodles I used were gluten-free.  I had some DeBoles rice penne noodles.  It turned out great, and really didn’t take long at all, probably under 30 minutes total.

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