Roasted garlic was one of the very first “fancy” foodie items I can remember liking. It was 1991, and at the ripe young age of 11, I went on a lunch date with my mom after joining her at one of her graduate school classes.
We were conveniently in downtown Chicago, and even back in the early ’90s, the food scene was hopping! Down the street from my mom’s grad school building was a lovely little French restaurant called Bistro 110. I’d never been to a French restaurant (that I knew of) and my mom told me that something really delicious was coming with the bread. Minutes later, a basket of warm bread and a plate with olive oil and a head of funny-looking garlic arrived.
I was used to “normal” garlic.
It was something that was crushed or chopped and used sparingly in recipes. It wasn’t something that was served to me whole and on a plate. Much to my surprise, my mom took a knife and dug out one of the cloves, spread it on a slice of bread, and handed it to me. And upon taking a bite, I was changed forever. Any time I had an opportunity to eat roasted garlic, I would. And then I learned how to make it (cut the top off a head of garlic, drizzle sparingly with olive oil, wrap in foil, roast at 425° until soft) and it’s been a regular in recipes ever since.
One of the side effects of this whole “watching what I eat” thing is that I’m much more aware of the balance of protein, carbs, fat, and calories in any given recipe. In the past, the sauce recipe below would’ve been on a bowl of pasta with perhaps a piece of chicken. I bulked it up by using low-carb and high-fiber pasta and about two pounds of broccoli!
Creamy Roasted Garlic Pasta
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus time to roast
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: simmer entree low-carb south beach diet chicken broccoli roasted garlic pasta Italian spring
Ingredients (6 hefty servings)
- 1 box Dreamfields low-carb pasta
- 2 pounds broccoli florets
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 head roasted garlic
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon flour
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- salt and pepper to taste
Set a large pot of water to boil.
Once boiling, add the pasta and broccoli and cook until done. Drain and set aside, covering to keep warm.
In a large frying pan, heat 1 Tablespoon of butter and the olive oil, swirling to coat the entire bottom of the pan.
Place half of the 1/4 cup of flour in a small plate.
Butterfly the chicken breasts and dredge in flour, then cook in the butter and olive oil mixture until browned on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from the pan, set aside, and lower the heat to medium.
Add the remaining 1 Tablespoon butter and flour to the pan. Whisk until smooth.
Add the roasted garlic cloves to the pan, and smash with a whisk. Add the wine and whisk until smooth. Add the milk, and reduce the heat to medium low.
Toss the shredded parmesan cheese with the 1 Tablespoon flour.
Add the parmesan in small batches to the sauce, whisking well in between each addition.
Dice the chicken, then add it to the pasta and broccoli. Stir well to combine evenly.
Add the sauce to the pasta mixture, stir well, and serve.