This restaurant favourite comes together in about half an hour. Using milk instead of cream makes this version healthier, offering the flavour of the original with less fat and fewer calories.
1 454 g penne pasta
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 boneless chicken breasts, about 1 lb (500 g)
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups 2% milk
1/2 cup homemade or store-bought pesto
1/4 cup coarsely grated Parmesan, optional
In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until al dente, 10-11 minutes.
Meanwhile, set a small frying pan over medium heat. When hot, lightly coat with oil. Add chicken and cook until lightly golden, 3 minutes per side. Cover and continue cooking, turning occasionally, until springy when pressed and cooked through, about 10 more minutes.
Remove from heat and let stand 2 minutes. Thinly slice into bite-sized pieces.
Meanwhile, set a large saucepan over medium heat. Melt butter.
Add flour and stir to evenly mix. Cook, stirring constantly, until bubbly and lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk. Bring to a gentle simmer and whisk frequently, until sauce begins to thicken, about 3 minutes. Stir in pesto and remove from heat.
When pasta is cooked to your liking, drain well. Turn back into pot. Pour pesto sauce overtop. Stir in chicken and any accumulated juices. Serve with grated Parmesan, if you like.
Makes 4-6 servings.
In a serving: 553 calories, 31 g protein, 17 g fat, 66 g carbs
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