Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle one boneless, skinless chicken breast with garlic powder, salt & pepper. Bake, uncovered, in a pan for 30 min. Cool chicken and chop into bite-size pieces.
[NOTE: I highly recommend having the sauce ingredients measured out and ready to go. It is a very quick process and it helps to have everything ready. Even then, it is very easy to scorch the garlic. Be careful.]
[NOTE 2: DO NOT FORGET TO SAVE OUT THE PASTA WATER FOR THINNING BEFORE YOU DRAIN THE PASTA. This is VERY IMPORTANT for the recipe to turn out correctly. I've forgotten in the past and had to use milk. It turned out okay, but not as good as with the pasta water.]
-1 Tbsp butter
-1 clove garlic, minced
-zest of one lemon
-2 tsp all-purpose flour
-1 cup 2% milk
-3/4 tsp salt
-2 Tbsp Neufchatel or low fat cream cheese
-3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (not powdered)
-3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
-freshly ground black pepper, to taste
-12 oz. fettuccine pasta (fresh or dried, I use dried and cook for 14 min.)
Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook until the garlic is slightly soft, about 1 minute. Add in the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook, whisking constantly, until just thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the Neufchatel and parmesan cheese; whisk until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped parsley, chicken and pepper. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Meanwhile, in a large pot, boil fettuccine in salted water until al dente, stirring often. RESERVE ONE CUP OF COOKING WATER BEFORE DRAINING. Return drained pasta to pot.
Immediately add sauce to pasta along with about half the reserved pasta water. Gently toss until pasta is coated, adding more pasta water to thin sauce. (I usually use about 3/4 of the pasta water.)
(This recipe easily makes 8 reasonably sized servings. I am including the nutritional info from the original recipe. It is calculated as making 4 servings and DOES NOT include the chicken meat.)
Per serving: Calories 490; Fat 15 g (Saturated 8 g); Cholesterol 48 mg; Sodium 734 mg; Carbohydrate 66 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 20 g