Inspired by a recipe I found over at Tastes Lovely, I made a fabulous oven-bake with pan-fried broccoli, chicken, farfalle pasta and a delicious homemade creamy alfredo sauce.
I did try to make it slightly healthier by replacing half of the quantity of cream with milk – which turned out still plenty creamy – but compensated by topping it with some (totally optional) chopped up crispy bacon rashers 😅. In case of using the bacon, it is a good first step of the recipe below and you won’t need to add olive oil to the frying pan in step 3.
The recipe (serves 6)
- 450g / 1 pound farfalle pasta
- 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 heads of broccoli, cut into small florets
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 180g / 6-oz each), cut in large cubes
- 60g / 4 tbsp butter
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 250ml / 1 cup heavy cream
- 250ml / 1 cup semi-skimmed milk
- 75g / 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat your oven to 200C / 390F.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet over medium high heat. Add the broccoli, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook the broccoli uncovered for about 4 minutes until bright green. Add 70ml / 1/4 cup of water and cook until the water has evaporated and the broccoli is crispy yet tender. Transfer the broccoli to a large oven-proof casserole dish.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente in accordance with the instructions on the packaging.
- In the same frying pan, heat the other tablespoon of olive oil and cook the chicken pieces – seasoned with salt and pepper – in an even layer for about 5-7 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to the same casserole dish as the broccoli.
- In the same frying pan, melt the butter and cook the garlic for about 1 minute until fragrant.
- For the alfredo sauce, add the heavy cream and milk to the frying pan and scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom. Add the grated Parmesan cheese and cook until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce is just starting to bubble. Then turn down the heat to low and keep the sauce warm.
- When the pasta is done cooking, drain and add to the casserole dish together with the alfredo sauce. Combine and cover with the parmesan cheese and put it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until the cheese has started to brown.
- I topped it with some chopped up crispy bacon rashers which you can also prepare in the same frying pan.