Pasta is a great Friday night option when you’ve come to the end of a working week and can’t summon up much brain power to make a quick, healthy meal. Creamy Chicken and Parmesan Fettucine from Justine Pattison may look ‘naughty’, but the sauce is made from a combination of butter, plain flour and semi-skimmed milk rather than cream to keep the calories low.
While I was impressed with the calorie content (just 374 per serving), the taste was a tad bland for my liking, despite me lashing it with grinds of black pepper. Nevertheless, this is a good example of how you can make two chicken breasts comfortably stretch to feeding four people. For other budget-friendly chicken dishes, check out chicken and mushroom risotto and pollo pasta with pesto.
Recipe: Creamy Chicken and Parmesan Fettucine
Calories: 374 per serving
Book: Justine Pattison: Without the Calories – pasta and rice
Prep time: Approx 10 mins
Cooking time: Approx 15 mins
- 200g dried fettucine or tagliatelle
- Oil for brushing or spraying
- 2 boneless chicken breasts (each about 175g, cut into roughly 2.5cm chunks)
- 15g butter
- 20g plain flour
- 300ml semi-skimmed milk
- 25g Parmesan (finely grated)
- 15g bunch of fresh curly or flat-leaf parsley (leaves finely chopped)
- Flaked sea salt
- Ground black pepper
Cost per portion: Approx £1.20
Half fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to the boil. Tip the pasta into the boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until tender, stirring occasionally.
While the pasta is cooking, brush or spray a large non-stick frying pan with oil and place over a high heat. Add the chicken, season well with salt and pepper and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until lightly coloured. Tip onto a plate and return the pan to the heat.
Add the butter and as soon as it has melted, reduce the heat to medium and stir in the flour and cook for a few seconds. Gradually add the milk, stirring continuously until it is all combined and then bring to a gentle simmer.
Stir in the chicken and the Parmesan. Simmer gently for 3-4 minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked, stirring regularly. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
Drain the pasta in a colander and return to the saucepan. Add the creamy chicken, Parmesan sauce and the parsley and toss together well.