So for the longest time, I have been craving chicken, pasta, and broccoli. Not sure why really, just something I have wanted. I think that's where this recipe came from. That, and probably the fact that I have discovered how freaking awesome steaming food is. I used to do it in the microwave, but why do that when you can cook your pasta and steam your veggies at the same time. It's genius I tell you, genius!!!! Lol.... This recipe took 15 MINUTES PEOPLE, 15 minutes!!!! Can you imagine serving this to your family after only cooking for 15 minutes. If you don't roast the red pepper ahead of time, it will take 20 minutes. I mean seriously!!! (See the "tips" section at the end of the recipe for the fool proof way to roast a red pepper and a steam broccoli). Serve with a simple side salad and the meal is complete. It's so easy and it was really delicious. Here's the step by step on how I did it. Let me know if you guys like this format and I can post other recipes this way.
Creamy Garlic Chicken Pasta with Broccoli:
2 cups uncooked organic penne pasta (rigatoni would be fine also)
1 tbsp organic olive oil
2 cups organic chicken breast, diced
6 organic garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used a Chardonnay)
1 roasted organic red pepper, sliced
1/2 cup organic cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cup organic heavy cream
2 cups organic broccoli, steamed
1 tbsp each organic parsley and basil, chopped
approximately 3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste (and you will need to salt & pepper in this, but season to your liking)
Get some water in your pasta pot and set the heat to high so the water starts to boil for your pasta. Place your iron skillet (or any large skillet) on medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Place the chicken in the pan and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the white wine and scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add the heavy cream and stir to combine. Add the parsley and basil and turn off the heat while you wait for the pasta to cook. When the timer goes off, if you are using a pasta pot with a steamer basket (see Tip section below), add the broccoli and set the timer for 3 minutes. This is the cooking time for the broccoli and the remaining time needed to cook the pasta to al dente. If you do not have a steamer basket, put the broccoli in a glass bowl, add 1 tbsp water and cover with plastic wrap and steam for about 3 minutes.
Tip: This is my fool-proof way to roast a red pepper and it works every single time. This method does require a gas burner. You could not do this if using an electric stove. If that is what you have, I recommend using the oven method which I think uses the broiler, I have never done that method so don't quote me on that. So as you can see in the first picture, I have placed the red pepper on the burner set to high heat. Nothing fancy, no oil or anything on the pepper. Just a clean pepper. When the side facing down is black, and as you can see in the 2nd picture, I mean black, turn the pepper. Clockwise, counter-clockwise, it really doesn't matter. What you are looking for is that all sides of the pepper are as black as the 2nd picture. When this is achieved, put the pepper in a zip-lock bag or glass bowl fitted with plastic wrap for 10-15 minutes. It needs to steam, this is an important step. When the time is up, take it out and peel off the black charred skin. Be careful, it will probably still be hot. Cut it in half, remove the seeds. Be forewarned, those little buggers are a pain in the butt. Just get as many as you can, but do not rinse the pepper. I think it gets a little slimy. Besides, a few seeds never hurt anyone. Unless they are habanero pepper seeds, then I don't know what to tell you buddy. The last pic is the final product. A beautifully roasted and delicious red pepper that any mother would be proud to call her own. :-) Now see below for my steaming tip.
Tip 2: This is my pasta pot and the steamer basket I was talking about. When you are steaming, of course, don't forget the lid. I only removed it so I could snap a picture. It was so incredibly convenient to cook the pasta and steam the broccoli AT THE SAME TIME. Not to mention, steaming is very healthy. But as I said before, if you don't have this, use the glass bowl and plastic wrap method. It will give you the same result. And FYI, I recommend glass simply because the plastic wrap will stick to the bowl better. You need a good seal otherwise it won't steam.