I’m normally a fan of a rich tomato sauce on pasta, but my kids love creamy alfredo pasta sauce. In order to once again make a meal using pantry items and the refrigerator that was stocked full of fresh vegetables, I came up with this grilled chicken pasta primavera. It served to feed and please the entire family including me, the forever tomato sauce eater.
This pasta dish turned out so well that we didn’t even mind eating leftovers the next day. Use whatever dried pasta that you have in your pantry, fettuccine, spaghetti, curly noodles, elbows. The pasta doesn’t matter since it’s just a vessel for this amazing sauce, grilled chicken, and fresh veggies. Primavera is Spanish for spring, but I say that this meal is perfect anytime of the year!
Grill or bake boneless skinless chicken breast and dice into large pieces. (I used my George Foreman Grill and seasoned the chicken on both sides with Morton’s seasoning salt. You can also use dried garlic and salt and pepper.)
Dice assorted vegetables into equal size pieces. I used red bell pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, and broccoli. Boil the pasta in salted water according to the instructions for al dente. During the last 3 minutes of cooking I added the diced bell pepper and broccoli to the pasta. Once the pasta is cooked drain it and set it aside with the broccoli and red bell pepper that were added into the water. In a large non stick skillet add 1 Tbsp. of butter and saute the zucchini and mushrooms for 4-5 minutes or until slightly tender. Season with salt and pepper as they saute. Remove the vegetables from the skillet to make the sauce.
Make the sauce by melting 2 Tbsp. of butter and then adding 2 Tbsp. of flour. Cook the flour in the butter for 1-2 minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste. Add chopped garlic cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute – stir constantly to avoid burning the garlic. Slowly add 1 cup of chicken broth to the pan while whisking to avoid lumps. As the sauce begins to thicken add 1 Tbsp. of dried parsley flakes, 1 tsp. of dried basil, 1/2 tsp. of salt and 1/4 tsp. of black pepper along with 1 cup of half and half stirring constantly. Slowly mix in 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese. The sauce should be thickened but not too thick if it to thick add a little water or half and half to thin it slightly.
Add the pasta and vegetables back to the large skillet with the sauce and stir everything well. I cook the pasta in the sauce for a couple of minutes to add flavor to the pasta. Serve in a large bowl and add the cooked chicken to the top of the pasta or mix it in with the pasta as it cooks.
Other great vegetables to add in would be – diced onions, yellow squash, carrots, and green peas