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Published: Sunday, 4/22/2012

Sauce gives kick to chicken, pasta


Do you ever feel like your dinner is just so-so? Plain and unadorned, even tasteless?

The secret to turning a so-so dinner into a "wow!" dinner is the sauce. There are hundreds of premade sauces on the grocery store shelves, and we can purchase very complicated sauces from all over the world.

But I often wonder if $4 isn't a lot of coin for just experimenting. Will I like it or not? Will I waste it or not?

Here's the good news: I bet you have the ingredients for today's recipe already in your kitchen. Simple Parmesan-White Wine Sauce is a cook's best friend. No matter what you've sauteed in that pan, this sauce will highlight it.

I use this sauce for fish, chicken breasts, veggies, and every kind of pasta imaginable.

Today I'm serving it with whole-wheat spaghetti tossed with spring's freshest vegetables: green beans, a yellow bell pepper, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach.

I had some leftover rotisserie chicken and decided that would seal the deal.

This flavorful, amazingly simple sauce will pull your dinner together.

Better yet, it makes enough for four servings, so if you are serving just a few, refrigerate the extra sauce and use it on fish the next night or just grill some chicken breast. But be sure to keep extra sauce at the table for dipping. It's that good.

Contact Alicia Ross at: Kitchen Scoop, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or send email to tellus@kitchenscoop.com. Visit the Kitchen Scoop Web site at kitchenscoop.com.

Suggested Menu

Spaghetti Chicken-Primavera with Simple Parmesan-White Wine Sauce

Italian rolls with softened butter

Grape clusters

Spaghetti Chicken-Primavera with Simple Parmesan-White Wine Sauce

Start to finish: 20 minutes

4 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 cup sliced yellow onion

1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper

1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes

1 cup trimmed fresh green beans

1 cup sliced button mushrooms

1 cup fresh baby spinach

1/2 cup cooked and sliced chicken breast (see Note)

⅔ cup Simple Parmesan-White Wine Sauce, recipe follows

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in medium nonstick skillet on medium-high. Saute all the vegetables until onion and green beans are tender, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add cooked chicken and toss to heat. Remove skillet from heat.

When pasta is done, toss well with vegetable mixture and sauce. Serve immediately.

Yield: 2 servings

(Note: You can use any type of cooked chicken for this dish, or leave the meat out completely.)

Approximate values per serving: 343 calories, 11 g fat (5 g saturated), 69 mg cholesterol, 30 g protein, 26 g carbohydrates, 5 g dietary fiber, 591 mg sodium.

Simple Parmesan-White Wine Sauce

Start to finish: 10 minutes

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

1 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Black pepper to taste

In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour to form a paste. While whisking constantly, slowly add the chicken broth and wine. Stir and heat until sauce is almost boiling, steamy, and slightly thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the cheese and black pepper and whisk well. Remove from heat until ready to use.

Covered leftovers may be cooled and refrigerated for up to 3 days. To reheat, measure out portions and heat in the microwave on high for 30 to 45 seconds.

Yield: About 1⅓ cups

Approximate values per ⅓ cup: 115 calories, 6.5 g fat (4 g saturated), 19 mg cholesterol, 6 g protein, 3 g carbohydrates, trace dietary fiber, 356 mg sodium.

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