Thursday, April 30, 2009

Creamy One-Pot Pasta

This is actually a recipe from one of my Pampered Chef cookbooks. It was very easy and really good and also lower in fat. Makes for a simple but yummy weeknight dinner. I forgot to buy the can of sun-dried tomatoes, so I used regular petite diced tomatoes and drained the can. I sauteed the garlic in a tsp of olive oil. I also didn't have fresh basil, so I sprinkled on some dry basil and it was good! I made it a meal by adding 3 sliced chicken breasts that I had grilled and seasoned. You can leave chicken out and have a meatless meal or a hearty side.

4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced or minced
1 jar (7oz) sun-dried tomatoes in oil, undrained
3 cans (14 1/2 oz each) chicken broth (5 1/4 cups)
1 lb uncooked penne pasta
1 head broccoli (or 2 cups small florets)
2 medium carrots, peeled
4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese (neufchatel)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
grated fresh parmesan cheese and snipped fresh basil (optional)

Place garlic and 1 TBSP oil from sun dried tomatoes into an 8qt stockpot. Cook garlic over medium heat 2-3 minutes or until garlic is golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; add broth. Return to burner, increase heat to high. Cover and bring to a boil. Stir in pasta; cover and simmer vigorously 8-10 minutes or until pasta is almost cooked but still firm. Stir occasionally. DO NOT DRAIN!

Meanwhile, cut broccoli into small florets and place into a bowl. Slice carrots and add to bowl. Drain sun-dried tomatoes; pat dry with a paper towel. Slice tomatoes into thin strips. Add to bowl with carrots and broccoli.

Cut cream cheese into cubes. Add vegis, cream cheese, salt and black pepper to stockpot. Stir until cream cheese is melted and fully incorporated. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook an additional 2-4 minutes or until vegis are tender. If desired, top with grated parmesan cheese and snipped fresh basil.

6 servings: each serving contains 410 calories, 11 grams total fat, 5 grams fiber.