10/27/09

Chicken Bacon Pasta with Gruyere Sauce

So there I was, with about half an unused rotisserie chicken from the night before, and a half pound of bacon in the freezer. What’s the Connoisseur to do..?

Well, let’s see…

I love pasta. I love cheese… that was easy.

I rarely do a cheese sauce, but when I do I try to lighten the load a bit. Instead of a bunch of heavy cream, I will go with a bit of milk and some chicken broth. Don’t they say that every little bit helps? Besides, that will leave more room for dessert..!

So here we go. If you are hungry for a good fall or winter pasta, give this a try and let me know your results…

Gruyere sauce

· 2 Tsp butter
· 2 Tsp flour
· 1 cup milk
· 2 cups chicken broth
· 1 cup grated Gruyere
· ¼ cup grated parmesan
· Salt and white pepper
· Pinch of nutmeg

Warm the milk. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the warm milk. Cook to thicken. Slowly add broth and whisk, cook to desired consistency. Add cheeses and whisk to incorporate. Add a pinch of nutmeg and season to taste with salt and white pepper. Reduce heat and keep warm, whisking occasionally.

Pasta

· ½ pound bacon – chopped
· ½ rotisserie chicken – chopped (use more if you are hungry!)
· ½ cup sundried tomatoes in oil – drained and diced
· 2 Tsp olive oil
· 1 ½ cup chopped leeks – white part only
· Fettuccine

Heat and salt the pasta water in a large pot. In large frying pan over medium heat, cook the bacon. Remove from pan and set aside - pour off grease. Add olive oil and leeks – season with salt and pepper. Cook for 6 – 8 minutes. Add the pasta to the water and cook until done. Add sundrieds and chicken to the frying pan and cook to warm. Return bacon to the pan. Drain the cooked pasta and add to the pan. Add the cheese sauce and stir to combine all ingredients. Plate the pasta and enjoy..!

Note: If you want to kick up the cheese sauce a bit, add a half-cup of white wine just before the milk. Then after the broth is added toss in a sprig of sage and a couple sprigs of thyme to scent the sauce. Remove before adding the sauce to the pasta. After plating, top with some chopped parsley.

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