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Negresco pasta with broccoli and spinach
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 16 - 05 - 2019

Serves 6-8
300 gm of fettuccine
250 gm chicken breast fillet strips
1 tsp crushed garlic
2 cups fresh spinach (washed, drained)
1.5 cups broccoli florets (washed, drained)
3 litres béchamel sauce (divided into 2 portions: 1 litre & 2 litres)
250 gm mixture of shredded Mozzarella and grated Edam (divided)
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 chicken bouillon cube
Breadcrumbs to coat base of baking dish (discard excess)
Butter to lightly coat base of baking dish
Salt (to taste) + pepper + herbes de Provençe (or) oregano + grated nutmeg
2 tbsp olive oil

Heat a wide skillet on medium high. Add oil and garlic and stir. When about to change colour; add chicken strips. Stir on all sides to turn cream in colour. Season generously. Stir in spinach and broccoli; to wilt. Stir in mustard. Add bouillon and almost half a cup of hot water. Bring to the boil. Cover and simmer over low heat to cook chicken. Uncover fifteen minutes later. If any waters are not absorbed; stir for moments over medium-high heat until almost dried out. Meanwhile, cook pasta; slightly less than al dente. Drain. Gently mix with chicken mixture. Pour the one litre portion of sauce over mixture and gently mix well to incorporate, then pour evenly into prepared ovenproof baking dish. Scatter some cheese mixture on top. Pour remaining béchamel sauce evenly over and scatter remaining cheese on top. Bake at a preheated oven degree of 220 Centigrade. Remove when top is golden. Serve with a green salad aside.

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