Gluten Free pasta is now so readily available it has become a quick, filling and kid friendly option. Whilst tomato based sauces are great, sometimes you want to take a break from yet another bowl of orange food. I was followed a dairy free diet a while back I really missed creamy pasta sauces – until I discovered this!
This recipe is a great way to sneak large quantities of green veg into dinner without the fear it will all get picked out by a suspicious child. The broccoli breaks down into a creamy sauce for the chicken and pasta with very few suspicious lumps. I served this last night and the verdict was a clean plate from both 6 and 2 year old. What’s not to like?
I’ve listed quantities for 2 adults and 2 children. If you have leftovers they can be reheated in the microwave successfully for kids another day. I’ve used Buckwheat which is both wheat and gluten free. If your kids are suspicious of the wholesome colour switch to any other gluten free pasta, most others are made from rice, corn or a combination of both so have a less challenging yellow colour.
300g Pasta – the penne rigate or fussilli shapes holds the sauce best
2 Chicken Breasts diced into 2cm cubes
1 crown of broccoli roughly chopped into 1cm dice (don’t use the stalks if the children are suspicious of green lumps as these don’t break down)
1 Red onion diced into 1cm pieces
1 Clove of garlic very finely chopped
1 tsp of fresh rosemary finely chopped (don’t worry if you leave this out it will still taste great)
1 tbsp regular olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil to serve
Bring a large pan of water to the boil for the pasta
Heat the oil and fry the onion until soft in a pan large enough to serve the finished meal
Add the chicken to the onions and fry until lightly browned followed by the garlic and rosemary, then turn the heat down to its lowest level
Boil the pasta and broccoli together following the timing on the pasta packet, give this a stir every 2 mins
Remove ½ a cup of the pasta water and add to the chicken (you could add a little liquid chicken stock to this for extra flavour)
When the pasta is 1 minute from cooked, drain in a sieve (so the broccoli doesn’t escape in the sink) and stir into the cooked chicken and onions. Remove the pan from the heat. Give everything a good stir together with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. At this point the broccoli will break down into a sauce for the pasta, leave it in the hot pan whilst you gather everyone to the table. Enjoy!
I like this sprinkled with dried crushed chillies and seasoned with plenty of salt and pepper. If you aren’t following a dairy free diet grated parmesan would be the perfect accompaniment but it still tastes great without it. I often substitute the chicken with pancetta cubes and add green beans chopped a bit shorter than the pasta to the cooking water 3 minutes before the end of cooking. I forgot to add these last night as was taking too many pics!
Add a large handful of toasted pine nuts and a few raisins to the onions and garlic and remove from the heat a little earlier.
et me know how you find this recipe, I’d love to hear from you x