Fork in the Road: Try the ramped-up version with pesto (and/or skip the chicken for a vegetarian dish).
The title of this recipe may not make your mouth water, but the actual dish will. All of us need those dinners that require little thought, little time, and a little collection of on-hand ingredients. I have no compunctions about opening up a jar of good sauce, pouring it over pasta, and calling it dinner ... but this feels much more like a real meal.
Think of the recipe as a template (as with so many of my recipes), and swap ingredients in and out as you like. Check out what’s in your fridge, in season, or on the side.
Kosher or coarse salt
1 package (1 pound) linguine or other long, thin pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken broth, preferably low-sodium
4 cups (about 4 large stems) small broccoli florets
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously and add the pasta. Return the water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions, but stop when it is very al dente, about 2 minutes before it’s done. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta.
2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, chicken, oregano, and salt and pepper and sauté until the chicken is just lightly browned on the outside, but not cooked through, about 3 minutes.
3. Increase the heat to high, add the white wine, and cook and stir until the wine is reduced by half, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, ½ cup of the reserved pasta water, and the broccoli florets.
4. You can continue with the recipe or see the Fork in the Road to amp up the flavor with pesto.
5. Cover the skillet and bring to a simmer. Add the drained almost-cooked pasta to the skillet, as well as the red pepper flakes and butter and stir well. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot, and simmer until the pasta and broccoli are just tender, about 2 minutes; add additional pasta cooking water if the amount of liquid seems too skimpy—you want it a little saucy. Stir in the Parmesan, add additional salt and pepper if needed, and serve, passing additional Parmesan on the side.
Recipes reprinted from Dinner Solved!. Copyright ©2015 by Katie Workman. Photographs by Todd Coleman. Published by Workman Publishing.