Friday, May 6, 2011

Farfalle, Chicken and Summer Zucchini in a Light and Creamy Blue Cheese Sauce

Gas and grocery prices are going through the roof.  The average American is having a hard time managing these days.   With my series of surgical procedures and life in general, we’ve also been forced to greatly tighten up our food budget.  I have a well-stocked pantry and freezer – something that I highly recommend to everyone -  and I look for interesting ways to cook what we have on hand.

Tonight I’m posting a recipe that only seems decadent.  It’s creamy and rich, but I managed to cut out most of the fat and sodium while leaving in all of the flavor.  You can actually feed four people with two chicken breasts, a half a pound of pasta, and a little garlic bread. 

Do entertain this with dish.  Topped it  off with the fresh chives (to show off your chef-like skills) and a glass – or three – of Pinot Grigio for good measure, you’ve got a Friday night dinner party!

Farfalle, Chicken and Summer Zucchini in a Light and Creamy Blue Cheese Sauce

½ lb. Farfalle Pasta

2 boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts, sliced into bite sized pieces
2 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons Grill Seasoning for Chicken
½ tablespoon dried Rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice
½ cup sweet Onion, chopped
3 small Summer Zucchini*, sliced into ½ inch quarter sized rounds
Freshly ground Pepper, to taste

For the Sauce:
1 cup dry white wine
½ clove Elephant Garlic, sliced thin and into strips
½ cup Reduced Fat, Low Sodium Chicken Broth (Suggest College Inn)
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
1 cup 2% Milk
1/2 cup crumbled Blue Cheese, divided
¼ teaspoon freshly ground Nutmeg
2 tablespoons grated Reduced Fat Parmesan Cheese, plus more for sprinkling
An abundance of fresh chopped Chives, to taste

Cook pasta per package directions.

Add one tablespoon of olive oil to large sauté pan.   Coat chicken with grill seasoning and rosemary.  Add to pan and sauté for three-to-five minutes, until chicken is browned but not done.

Hit chicken with lemon juice and remove to bowl. 

Add onion to pan, and extra oil if needed.  Sauté for one minute.  Add Zucchini and fresh pepper.  Cook for approximately five minutes, until zucchini is browned.  Remove onion and zucchini to bowl.  (Don’t worry if some of the onion stays behind in the pan).

Add wine to pan.  Deglaze, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add garlic (to braise) and chicken broth.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer until the wine and broth are reduced by half.

Whisk cornstarch into milk.  Pour into pan.  Add ½ of the blue cheese and the nutmeg.  Stir.  Bring back to boil and reduce to simmer. 

Add chicken, zucchini and onion back to pan.  Cook for one or two minutes. 

Add Parmesan cheese.  Add cooked pasta and toss. 

Dinner is served!
Plate and top with fresh chives and more of the Parmesan. 

*Summer squash are smaller.
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