Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pasta with Roasted Garlic Cheddar Wine Sauce

When I started this blog my idea of cooking was Kraft mac and cheese. Unlike many who start a cooking blog to show their cooking skills I started a food blog to LEARN to cook. And those of you who have been reading it all along have followed me on this journey. This recipe was something I bookmarked almost 2 years ago but never made. I was too intimidated by the roasted garlic paste. Looking back on this now it's amusing to me because I have cooked far more complicated things, but at the time this was just too much for me. I had forgotten about this recipe until I saw it pop up on Annie's blog. I immediately added it to our menu- it was time to finally make this!

Well, was it worth the wait? YES! John and I both loved it. It was creamy and delicious, everything there is to love in a pasta recipe. The roasted garlic and cheddar combine for a sharp taste that is really good. And if we're being honest, cheese and pasta are always a good combo, no? Definitely worth the wait, and definitely a recipe worthy of repeating.

Source: Annie's Eats, originally from Good Things Catered


8 oz. tube shaped pasta, such as penne
1½ tbsp. butter
¼ cup roasted garlic paste*
1½ tbsp. flour
¼ cup dry white wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets and blanched until crisp-tender
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled and cut into bite size pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste

*To make roasted garlic paste, peel the outer papery skins off two heads of garlic, leaving the heads still intact. Slice about a quarter off the top of each head so that all of the cloves are partly exposed. Wrap the heads in foil and bake at 350˚ F for one hour. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool enough to touch, squeeze the garlic cloves out of the peels and smash with a fork to make roasted garlic paste.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente according to the package directions.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet or saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the roasted garlic paste and cook just until fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Whisk the flour into the mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to turn golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Stir the white wine and broth into the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cheddar and stir until melted. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
Mix in the broccoli florets and chicken pieces, and cook just until heated through. Mix in the cooked pasta until evenly coated with the sauce. Serve warm.

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