Speedy Dinner: Chicken and Cheesy Broccoli Pasta

Thursday, 08 Jan 2009


This super-fast dinner relies on the great staple of rotisserie chicken as a main course, with pasta tossed with broccoli and cheese as a side.  The pasta could stand on its own as a vegetarian main course.  I used Gourmet’s Broccoli with Orecchiette recipe, and made a few minor adjustments (this is where the mashup part comes in):

– The recipe calls for frozen chopped broccoli.  I used fresh.

-I couldn’t find orecchiette (little ear-shaped pasta), so substituted other small shapes.

-The recipe said to cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the broccoli was soft and all the water had been cooked out of the pan.  The broccoli would have turned to total mush if I’d cooked it that long, so I cooked it until it was ready and left the little water remaining in the pan instead of later adding in pasta cooking water.  This worked fine for the consistency of the dish.

-It didn’t seem creamy or cheesy enough with just amount of Parmigiano Reggiano in the recipe, so I added a tiny bit of goat cheese (a couple teaspoons) for creaminess and a touch of shredded Manchego.


The pasta tasted great — the garlic flavor stayed fairly subtle and the red pepper flakes gave the whole thing a little bit of kick.  This dinner took right at 30 minutes to make from beginning to end.  Here are the steps I used to put it together:

1. Preheat oven for 400 to reheat the rotisserie chicken.  Put the chicken in a pan.

2.  Started the water boiling and prepped the ingredients for the pasta dish.

3.  Got the pasta cooking, put the chicken in the oven, sauteed the garlic and put the broccoli and other ingredients in to cook.

4. Threw a baguette in the oven with the chicken to warm for the last 8 minutes. Mixed together the pasta, broccoli and cheese.

It all came out ready about the same time.  This is a great solution for a fast, easy dinner after a day at work or if you’re just in a hurry!


The other fun part of cooking tonight was breaking in my shiny new All-Clad pans, an awesome 30th birthday present from my husband!  They look so pristine and shiny to begin with that Matt’s comment when I started cooking in one of them was “Awww!  You got it dirty!”  But the beauty of stainless All-Clad is that they safely go right into the dishwasher.  So far, so good.  They heat up a lot faster than my old pans and need just a touch more oil to prevent sticking.  You’re going to be seeing a lot of my new pan set in future posts!

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