Spinach, Artichoke and Chicken Penne
Delight your family with this comforting combo of nutritious ingredients.
- 1 pound penne rigate or whole wheat penne rigate
- 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 small pieces)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3-4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Black pepper
- 2 slightly rounded tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or an additional 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup cream or whole milk
- A few grates of nutmeg
- 1 box chopped frozen spinach (10 ounces), defrosted, wrung dry and separated
- 1 can artichoke hearts in water (14 ounces), drained well and chopped
- 1 cup grated Asiago or provolone cheese
- Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente.
- Meanwhile, poach the chicken: Place the chicken in small pan and add water to the top of the meat, but do not cover completely. Add the bay leaf and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and gently simmer to cook through, 10-12 minutes. Shred the meat into small pieces with forks or dice into small pieces. Set aside.
- While the chicken cooks, heat the EVOO in large, deep sauté pan over medium heat. Melt the butter into the EVOO, then add the onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle the flour over the cooked onion and garlic and stir for 1 minute, then whisk in the white wine. Add the stock and stir for 1 minute, then stir in the cream and season with nutmeg. Thicken the sauce for a couple of minutes over low heat, then stir in the spinach and artichokes and heat through. Melt the Asiago or provolone cheese into the sauce and turn off the heat.
- Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce and chicken to combine, adjusting the salt and pepper to your taste. Garnish with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Cooking with alcohol enhances the flavors of certain dishes. Some of the alcohol burns off in the process of cooking. If you are concerned about using alcohol when you cook, you may use the appropriate substitute listed in the ingredients.