Not going to lie…this recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe took 50 minutes of me in the kitchen chopping, stirring, draining, and mixing. Not OK. Although it turned out to be a recipe of Italian restaurant quality, much to Justin’s dismay (he absolutely loved it) I don’t see myself making this again unless it is for a special occasion in the future (i.e anniversary, dinner, parents in town, etc).
Prep Time 50 Minutes
Cook Time 15 Minutes
Makes 6-8 Servings
3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 lbs broccoli florets
12 ounces penne pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3) cut into bite-sized pieces
3 ounces smoked mozzarella, shredded
8 ounces jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped into pieces
1. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and melted butter. Set aside.
3. In a large pot, bring the water for the pasta to a boil. Stir in one tablespoon salt and the broccoli. Cook broccoli for 1 minute until it is bright green. Quickly remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon to a plate and set to the side.
4. Return the water to a boil, add penne pasta, and cook until al dente (about 1-2 minutes less than normal since the pasta will cook in the oven also). Drain pasta and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Leave in colander.
6. Stir in garlic and thyme. Cook about 30 seconds while stirring constantly. Add flour, salt, and pepper. Continue to cook about 1 minute while stirring constantly.
7. Slowly whisk in chicken broth and heaving whipping cream. Bring to a simmer, whisk often.