Grilled Chicken Florentine Pasta
It has been a long time since I have eaten a pasta dish with a cream sauce, not because I don't love it, but because I try to avoid heavy sauces with a lot of fat and ,calories. However, I made this dish tonight and substituted milk for heavy cream and thickened with a little cornstarch instead of flour, and this lighter version of a cream sauce was delicious and I didn't feel like I was missing a thing! The whole family enjoyed this creamy sauce with grilled chicken and fresh spinach over 100% whole grain pasta. I used whole grain spaghetti because I couldn't find whole grain linguine, and it worked just fine. I rubbed the chicken with olive oil, garlic and Italian seasoning before grilling and it was seasoned perfectly. I hope you try this dish. I made extra so I could meal prep a few lunches with it for the week.
Here's what you need to serve 4:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 t salt, divided
1/2 t pepper
2 1/2 T olive oil
1 T Italian seasoning
About 3 t minced garlic, divided
8 ounces cooked 100% whole grain spaghetti ( linguine if it is available)
2 T cornstarch
1 cup whole milk
1 cup fat-free lower sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup grated parmesan
4 cups fresh spinach leaves
A little extra grated parmesan to garnish
Basil leaves to garnish if you want (I love it! It makes it pretty)
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Prepare chicken breasts by rubbing them with about 1/2 T of the oil, 2 t of the garlic and 1/4 t of the salt, and the Italian seasoning evenly on both sides. Grill for about 8 minutes on each side or until done. Let it stand 10 minutes, then slice thinly.
To make the sauce, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the rest of the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the rest of the garlic and the cornstarch and whisk to mix. Whisk constantly about 2 minutes. Add milk and broth, whisking to mix. Bring to a simmer and cook a couple of minutes until it is thickened. Add parmesan
cheese, stirring till cheese melts into the sauce. Add the salt and pepper, adjust to your taste. Stir in spinach till it wilts. Add cooked pasta and chicken slices, toss to combine. Garnish on each plate with a little extra cheese and basil if you would like. This was delicious and we are looking forward to the lunches I made from the extra portions I made!
I usually try to do this when I cook...make extra and package them in meal prep containers. These will make great lunches this week! These can also be frozen!
Enjoy! Remember, there are hungry people everywhere....so feed them well!