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Basil Pepper Cream Pasta
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Categories: Chicken, Favorites, Italian, Low fat, Pastas
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Total Time: 30 min.

The basil and red bell pepper flavors are so pronounced in this pasta dish; you won't miss any of the fat in the creamless "cream sauce". Even though the recipe calls for chicken, chicken sausage or nothing (for a vegetarian dish) will do. I tend to find jars of roasted red peppers on the expensive side so I roast them myself. Here's how:

Preheat the oven broiler for 15 minutes. Place the peppers on the top rack (3-4 inches away from flame). Once a side has blackened., turn (with tongs, fork, towel, or other utensil). Repeat until all sides are blackened. Place the peppers in a plastic or paper bag. Fold over the top of the bag, so no steam can escape. This way the steam will build up between the flesh and the skin, making peeling even easier. When the pepper is cool enough to handle (20 minutes), take out of the bag and peel the rest by hand.

Also, when you don't have red bell peppers other colors works just as well. The dish just won't have as much color.

10 ounces pasta
1/2 pound green beans - cut in 1/4" slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound chicken breasts without skin - cut in 1/2" cubes
1 jar roasted red peppers - (8 ounces) drained
1 clove garlic - minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup evaporated skim milk
1/4 cup basil leaves - coarsely chopped
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese - grated

Heat a large pot of water to boiling, and cook the pasta according to package directions. During the last two minutes of cooking time, add green beans. (While you are waiting for the pasta and beans to boil, you could get started on the chicken and sauce (below) Drain pasta and beans well. Set aside.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat two thirds of the olive oil over medium high heat, until hot. Add chicken. Cook until browned on both sides (about 5 minutes). Transfer cooked chicken to a plate.

Add remaining olive oil to skillet; add roasted bell peppers and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute. Stir in the chicken broth, two thirds of the evaporated skim milk, the basil, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Keep over low heat until slightly thickened (about 3 minutes). Transfer mixture to a food processor and puree.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining evaporated skim milk with the cornstarch. Return the pepper basil puree to the skillet. Add the chicken and the cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce has thickened. Toss the sauce with the pasta and green beans. Serve and sprinkle with Parmesan.


Calories: 460 Calories From Fat: 15%
Protein: 32g Carbohydrate: 64g
Cholesterol: 46mg Sodium: 494mg


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