Lighter Take Hand-cut Fettuccine Alfredo with Grilled Chicken and Asparagus
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup grated Asiago cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ tablespoon of kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
¾ pound pappardelle pasta, dry
½ pound fresh asparagus cut into ½-inch pieces
2 tablespoons chopped chives
½ cup grated Asiago cheese
For the sauce: In a 6-quart sauce pot combine garlic, milk, whipping cream and salt and pepper. Place burner on medium heat and bring ingredients to a simmer. While mixture is coming to a simmer, place cornstarch in a measuring cup then add the chicken broth. Mix the two together until cornstarch in fully incorporated with broth. Once cream mixture has come to a simmer add the broth/cornstarch mixture and bring back to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the broth/cornstarch mixture has slightly thickened. This step should take about 2 to 3 minutes. Once mixture is slightly thickened remove from heat. Place the grated Asiago cheese into hot mixture and mix until cheese has melted. You may need to place in a blender to make sure that all cheese has melted and is completely incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sauce can be made in advance and held cold until needed.
For the chicken: Season chicken with salt and pepper and olive oil, then place on a hot grill and grill chicken. Remember to cook the chicken to 165 degrees. Once chicken has cooled to the touch slice chicken into bit size pieces and reserve. Chicken can be made in advance and held cold. If you don't want to grill chicken you can sauté or cook anyway you would like.
For the pasta: In a large pot fill ¾ full with water and bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to time on package.
While pasta cooks, warm the sauce; add asparagus pieces and grilled chicken slices. Add drained pasta to hot sauce, continue to cook for an additional 30 seconds so the pasta is completely coated with sauce. Once pasta and sauce are incorporated you can place on a large platter or divide into 4 plates. Once this is done garnish with chopped chives and the grated Asiago cheese.
Chef Arturo Alvarez, Maggiano's