This meal was so delicious. I saw a recipe on pinterest and then saw a cream sauce and adapted them both to fit my needs. I say "needs" because I needed this dish. I had to have it... and when I read the recipe and was disappointed, I had to make it into what I was craving. Seeds on pasta? Yes. Bizzare? Uh-huh. But that is just kinda who I am. Deal with it!
My kids all loved this and so did Mr. Delectable. And even though the sauce is super rich tasting, it is WAY lighter than normal alfredo sauce. "Creamy" does not have to equal scary and bad for you. Don't skip the sunflower seeds! They add a nice crunch and interest to this dish.
CREAMY GARLIC VEGGIE PASTA
- 16 oz. of Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
- 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut in 1″ cubes
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 2 TSBP McCormick Crusting Blend (Italian herb and cheese)
- 1/2 c. Onion, diced
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 yellow or red Bell Pepper, long thin slices
- 1 c. Grape tomatoes
- Sunflower seeds (lightly toasted in oven or pan)
Cook your pasta. Sprinkle the chicken breast with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook chicken until done and golden on all sides, adding the crusting blend when about half way through cooking. Remove and let rest in a large bowl.
Add the remaining olive oil and begin sauteing the onions and bell peppers for 2 min. Add in the garlic and saute another 2 mins. Then toss in any other woody veggies (broccoli, asparagus), cooking until desired firmness, saving the tomatoes until the very end.
When everything is cooked, combine the veggies with the chicken in your big bowl. Now its time for the sauce!
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 2 TSBP butter
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 1/2 TBSP flour
- 2/3 cup milk (I used skim)
- 1 cup evaporated milk (not condensed!!)
- 2/3ish cup parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- dash of nutmeg
Heat butter over skillet. Add the garlic and let cook for 30 seconds. Add the flour and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the milk and evaporated milk and cook over med low heat until thickened. Reduce heat to low, and add cheese, salt, pepper and fresh grated nutmeg. Cook until cheese is melted.
Pour over veggies and stir. Top with toasted sunflower seeds and more Parmesan cheese.