Richly flavorful and topped with parmesan, this healthy chicken broccoli pasta includes fresh spinach and a garlic and shallot white wine sauce.
- 8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
- 2 ounces fresh spinach, chopped (or substitute arugula or baby kale)
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound organic pastured skinless boneless chicken breasts, cubed
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 shallot, diced
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 1/2 cups frozen petite/mini broccoli florets, thawed
- 1 cup parmesan, grated
- Sea salt and ground black pepper
- Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Season water thoroughly with salt. Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to package instructions.
- When pasta is nearly al dente, use a ladle to scoop out about 2/3 cup of the water the pasta is cooking in. Set this pasta water aside.
- When pasta is al dente, place the chopped spinach in a colander. Pour the cooked pasta into the colander to drain. This will wilt the spinach at the same time that the pasta is drained.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season the cubed chicken with salt and pepper and place in the skillet. Allow the chicken to cook until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Use a large slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside.
- Turn the heat down to low. After the sauté pan has cooled slightly, add the garlic and shallot to the pan. There should still be plenty of olive oil remaining in the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until garlic and shallot are softened, about 2 minutes.
- Add the white wine and turn up the heat to medium-high. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits that are stuck to the pan and stir into the sauce (this adds lots of flavor!) Cook until the wine is reduced and sauce is thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
- Turn off the heat. Pour the chicken back into the pan, along with the penne and wilted spinach, broccoli (thawed), thyme, and reserved pasta water. Season everything thoroughly with salt and pepper. Stir until everything is well combined and thoroughly coated in sauce.
- Transfer pasta to serving plates. Top each plate of chicken broccoli pasta with generous handfuls of grated parmesan. Serve.
- Don’t skip the pasta water! It helps to create enough sauce to coat all of the chicken broccoli pasta, and it helps to thicken the sauce too.
- Don’t stir the parmesan into the sauce or it’ll create a lumpy texture. Simply top each plate of chicken broccoli pasta with parmesan before serving.
Keywords: chicken, broccoli, pasta, white wine, spinach, penne, healthy