Florentine Penne with Chicken

Serves 6

Originally aired

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs or breast tenders, diced
  • Salt and pepper  
  • 4 tablespoons butter 
  • 3/4 pound mushrooms, cremini or button, sliced 
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped 
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
  • 2 rounded tablespoons flour 
  • 1 cup dry white wine 
  • 1 cup chicken stock 
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups whole milk
  • A few grates fresh nutmeg 
  • 16 ounces chopped frozen spinach, defrosted and wrung dry 
  • 1 pound penne or mostaccioli rigate 
  • Grated Parmigiano-Regginao cheese

Heat olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown then remove to plate. Add butter to pan and melt; add mushrooms and lightly brown, 5-6 minutes. Add onions and garlic, and season with salt and pepper,. Reduce heat a bit and cook to soften onions, 5-6 minutes more. Add flour and stir 1 minute. Add wine and reduce by half. Add stock and milk, and thicken to coat a spoon. Season with nutmeg and stir in spinach to heat through. Adjust salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.  
Stir a handful of cheese into sauce. Add chicken to sauce to heat it through. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt water and cook pasta to al dente, drain and toss with sauce and chicken. Serve in shallow bowls and top with more cheese.