Grilled Chicken Florentine Pasta with Broccolini

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One Friday afternoon Tom asked me what grocery store we needed to go to that night.
"We need to go to Wegman's because I need broccolini." I responded. 
"Broc-a-who?" he asked.
"Broc-o-lini" I said, sounding it out. 
"...and that is?" he responded. 
"...uhhh..."I started.
"Right. You don't even know what it is. Of course you're cooking with it." he said.

In case you were wondering, I did go home that night (after purchasing the broccolini) and looked it up. So, if you are curious, its a vegetable very similar to broccoli but it has smaller florets and longer stems. It's a cross between the regular broccoli that you know and Chinese broccoli. The more you know, right? :-)



Grilled Chicken Florentine Pasta with Broccolini
Source: Cooking Light, September 2012
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
    • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • 8 oz. linguine pasta
    • 1 tbsp. olive oil
    • 3 tbsp. all purpose flour
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 2 cups baby spinach 
    • 2 cups broccolini, stems trimmed 
    • salt and pepper
Directions:
1. Spray a grill with non-stick cooking spray and heat to medium-high. 
2. Grill chicken for 6-8 minutes on each side or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and let rest. 
3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain, and set aside. 
4. Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and flour and stir constantly for 1-2 minutes or until the garlic has browned. 
5. Add the chicken broth and milk and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly or until the mixture thickens. Add the cheese and stir until the cheese melts. 
6. Dampen a paper towel and place it in a plastic bag with the broccolini. Do not seal the bag. Microwave the broccolini for 1 minute. While the broccolini cools slightly, slice the chicken into bite sized pieces. 
7. Add the baby spinach, broccolini, chicken and pasta to the skillet and stir to coat. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until thoroughly combined. Serve, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. 

This doesn't taste like a lightened up or healthy recipe at all. The sauce is rich and creamy and this is a incredibly filling meal. If there had been leftovers, I easily would have taken this for lunch the next day. 


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