Pasta – one humble ingredient but endless ways to cook it up. It has got to be one of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen. You can serve it hot or cold, in a soup, salad or as a main. It works so well with so many different veggies, proteins and sauces. I love me some pasta and always have a couple of varieties in my pantry cupboard.
Pasta dishes can range from simple to a little more complicated. I personally, love the idea of a few simple recipes that I can use during the week. This Chicken in white sauce pasta is one such dish. With a little multi-tasking, I can serve this up in well under half and hour. Yup, you heard that right, under 30 minutes. Honestly, what takes the most time, is boiling up the pasta itself. If you don’t eat meat, you can still make this recipe, just leave out the chicken and add some mushrooms, peas or even a little spinach. A vegetarian variant turns out equally delicious.
Are you ready to check this recipe out???
Chicken in White Sauce Pasta
A single Chicken breast fillet, cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup green capsicum, diced
1 cup of broccoli florets
1/2 cup corn kernels
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Chilli flakes, to taste
1/2 – 1 tsp Mixed herbs, or to taste
1 tsp lemon juice
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp vegetable stock / water
Pasta (enough for 4 servings)
A little parsley, to garnish
A little Parmesan cheese, grated
For the white sauce –
1 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Salt, to taste
Cook your pasta according to the packet instructions. I bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Season generously with salt. Add the pasta and cook till done. Drain and reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
While the pasta is cooking, season the chicken with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Mix well.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan. Add the chicken and cook through, stirring occasionally, till the chicken has cooked through. Remove the chicken in a bowl and set aside.
In the same pan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and quickly add the garlic.
Stir through and immediately add the green capsicum. Still through and let the capsicum cook for about a minute.
Next add the broccoli and saute well. (See note*)
Add the corn and stir through.
Season with salt, pepper, chilli flakes and mixed herbs, to taste.
Add 1-2 tbsp vegetable stock (you can also use water), stir well, cover and let the veggies steam and cook for a minute or two or till they are done to your liking. (If you are adding cooked broccoli to the pan, you can leave this step out. )
Add the cooked chicken to the pan and stir through. Set aside and cook your white sauce.
To cook the White Sauce / Bechamel Sauce –
(For detailed instructions on how to make a great white sauce, check the video above)
Add a tsp of olive oil to the pan on medium heat.
Add the butter and let it melt.
Add the flour and stir briskly, making sure the flour incorporates well with the butter and oil and that no lumps are left.
Cook this roux off for about 30 seconds to a minute or till the raw smell of the flour has gone. (Do not let it develop any color.)
Add half the milk to the pan and stir through well, making sure no lumps remain.
Add the remaining milk and whisk well.
Cook the sauce till it has thickened to your liking, whisking well.
When the sauce is done, lightly season with a little salt.
To assemble the pasta –
Add the white sauce to the chicken and veggies in the pan. Stir well. Add the cheese and mix through.
Check the sauce for seasoning and adjust, if needed.
Add the cooked pasta to the pan and stir through.
Serve your pasta in some serving plates. Finish with a light sprinkling of parsley and a grating of parmesan cheese.
*NOTE: Our broccoli is fairly tender and cooks very quickly. If your broccoli takes longer to cook, blanch or steam it before adding to the pan.