From The Kitchen Of Rachelle Underwood

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Creamy Chicken, Bacon and Broccoli Pasta

I think this is my new favorite pasta dish.  I love this pasta dish because I feel like I'm getting alot of flavor without the loads of fat that you get with an alfredo sauce.  You could put any veggies in this meal.  For the chicken part, I just grabbed some frozen rotisserie chicken that I had in the freezer.  This meal came together very fast, and will be a week night staple in my house.  My kids ate the whole thing, even all the vegetables.  If you hate bacon (which I can't even imagine) leave it out, it will still be good.  You could also just make this vegetarian and put tons of different types of vegetables in it.  It would end up being a like a pasta primavera.
Make sure to salt your pasta water!!!! Super important.  The water should taste like the ocean.  You are using the pasta water for part of the sauce, and it needs to be flavorful!

Creamy Chicken, Bacon and Broccoli Pasta

12 oz. pasta (any shape)
1 c. shredded, cooked chicken
2 heads of broccoli, cut up into florets
1/2 small onion, sliced into 1/2 moons
4 slices of bacon
4 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 lemon
Lawry's season salt to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Slice bacon into little pieces.  Cook bacon in a large skillet until golden brown and crisp.  Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels.  Leave all but 1/2 tbs of bacon grease in the skillet.  Start pasta water to boil.  Season with salt when the water comes to a boil, it should taste like the ocean water.  Add pasta, and set the timer for 4 minutes under the time it says to cook it. 
Over medium heat, add onion to the skillet until crisp tender.  Add cream cheese to the skillet, and retrieve about 1- 1 1/2 c. of pasta water from the pot. Add some pasta water to the skillet to loosen up the cream cheese.  Add bacon back to the skillet. 
Once the timer goes off for the pasta, add the broccoli florets to the pasta pot, and set the timer for 3 more minutes.  When it is done, drain, and set aside. 
Add garlic to the skillet, and more pasta water if needed to thin it out. Cook for about 1 minute.  Take skillet off the heat, add broccoli and pasta, shredded chicken, and the juice of one lemon.  Stir all together, adding pasta water to make the sauce thin enough.  Taste pasta, and season with lots of pepper, season salt or regular salt until it suits your taste.  Serve immediately. 

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