Penne With Chicken Strips And Broccoli
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons margarine, softened
3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, sliced into strips (12 ounces)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
12 ounces penne or any short tubular pasta such as ziti or rigatoni
4 cups broccoli florets and peeled stems, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons margarine.
On a sheet of wax paper, lightly coat the chicken in the flour and
pepper and shake off any excess. Immediately place the chicken in
the hot skillet and saute' 2 minutes, stirring frequently until
just browned on both sides.
Stir in the garlic, if using, and cook 1 minute longer. Do not let
the garlic brown. Cover and keep warm.
In a large pot, bring 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add the
pasta and cook, uncovered, 6 minutes. Carefully add the broccoli
and continue cooking until the pasta is al dente. Reserve 1 cup
cooking water before draining the pasta.
Meanwhile, in a large serving bowl, blend the cheese with the
remaining margarine until fluffy.
Blend with the reserved cooking water to make a sauce. Add the
pasta, chicken, and broccoli and gently toss until combined.
Serve with additional cheese and add pepper to taste, if desired.