Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lemon Cream Pasta with Broccoli

I realize my sister is indeed back from Disneyland, but she is ever so graciously still going to allow me to post! It makes me happy, especially when I ran across a recipe that I made and adapted and needed to share. Original recipe is actually called Lemon Cream Pasta with Chicken and I found it here. I was inspired to take up the challenge of making this dish a little healthier by the comment posted by Kameron and because I love to read Cook's Country and their stories about adaptions of a recipe. I am unsure how much healthier my version is, but I do still have another option to try out next time I make this dish, which I will because it was very delicious.

I thought the best way to accomplish a low fat option would be by making a rue and using it to thicken skim milk. Then I realized it was probably going to taste bland. So I threw in a rine of parmesan cheese and pressed a garlic clove into it. I felt the sauce wasn't going to be enough, because I like a lot of sauce, especially a cream sauce. So I added about 1/3 cup of cream, thinking this could add some flavor. Then I tasted it and thought, "good thing I have extra cream to revert to the original recipe". But I decided to march ahead with at least attempting to make it. So I added salt, pepper and garlic powder. Tasted it again. I added more pepper, some McCormick's salt free garlic and herb seasoning and grated some parmesan cheese into it. Now I felt the sauce had some flavor and was pasta ready, but don't forget to remove the rine of parmesan before pouring on top of your pasta. Of course, seeing as how I added butter(for the rue) and the parmesan cheese, I'm not sure how much healthier/less fattening this sauce was compared to the original cream.

I only made half of the original recipe, as there is only 2 of us in my house. But I was worried that since I used a different kind of pasta, orricchiette(because I LOVE the pockets for the sauce to get caught in) that my pasta would need more liquid to absorb, so I used two cans of chicken broth plus 1/2 cup of water. Which by the time the pasta was cooked I actually had extra liquid in my pot still. So I strained and reserved the liquid, approximately 3/4 cup worth. And since it had been simmering for 20 minutes, it had reduced to a wonderfully creamy chicken-lemony stock. Below is a picture of the liquid.

I assume the liquid thickened/creamed because of the starch from the pasta and because the reduction. But I am by no means a food scientist. Which got me thinking that you could probably make the recipe and plan on extra liquid from the start, cook the pasta to your liking, reserve the leftover stock and add in cream to make a sauce for it. I think this method would still preserve the creamy flavor but make it healthier because less cream, butter and cheese is used.

So here is the recipe I made tonight:

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 (14.5 ounce) cans of chicken broth
1/2 cup water[or you may try additional chicken broth]
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
8 ounces orricchiette pasta(roughly 2 1/2 cups)
2 cups cooked broccoli, chopped into bite size pieces

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup skim milk
1/3 cup of heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt free garlic & herb seasoning
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a large pot, put chicken broth, garlic powder, pepper, lemon juice and pasta. Bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until most liquid is absorbed, roughly 20 minutes for my orrichiette pasta. Strain. Pour pasta back into pot. Stir broccoli into cooked pasta.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in flour. Slowly whisk in skim milk. Add cream, salt, pepper, pressed garlic, salt free garlic & herb seasoning and lemon zest. Cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Stir in parmesan cheese. Pour over pasta.

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1 comment:

  1. Look at you! What an amazing remake of this recipe. I love the changes and think the addition of broccoli is brilliant.


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