May 4, 2010

Skillet Pasta with Broccoli and Cheese

I found this recipe on My Kitchen Cafe. Altered a few items, and fell in love with this dish. So easy, so yummy, and so pretty-looking too! I served with the Macaroni Grill Rosemary Bread, which is super easy and delicious, too!
1 1/2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped finely
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 ounces ziti (penne makes a great substitution)
4 1/4 cups water
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4-5 cups broccoli florets (depending on how much broccoli you want)
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and chopped coarse
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (asiago cheese can be used, as well)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

NOTE: If you want to add chicken, follow instructions below:
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook for 1 minute without stirring. Stir the chicken and continue to cook until chicken is cooked and lightly browned around the edges. Transfer the chicken to a clean bowl and set aside.

Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Turn the skillet to medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 2 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the pasta, 3 cups of the water, and the broth. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the liquid is very thick and syrupy and almost completely absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, and the remaining 1 1/4 cups water. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the broccoli turns bright green and is almost tender, 2-3 minutes.

Uncover and return the heat to medium-high. Stir in the cream, parmesan, (and the chicken if you added it) and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is thickened and everything is cooked and heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, passing more grated parmesan at the table, if desired.

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