I swear the pasta tasted much better than it looks on camera. It was good enough that Matt said he couldn’t wait to make it again, and I have never known him to be a huge broccoli lover.

The Pasta e Broccoli recipe he found was our original meal plan for Sunday night. And since I get all ADD whenever I go to Whole Foods, I picked up some beautiful looking carrots to roast on the side. I also felt like maybe I needed some protein, so I grabbed a pack of pre-marinated chicken breasts. I had been wanting to experiment with sous vide chicken anyways, and I was curious how sous viding the chicken in the marinade would turn out.

The chicken turned out better than I even expected! It was so moist that I could cut it with a fork. This whole Sous Vide thing seems too good to be true…

Like I said, the pasta e broccoli was amazing. What you can’t see in the picture is all of the garlic, chili flakes and cheese that went into it. The broccoli breaks down to almost form a sauce and it winds up tasting rich and creamy.

And I can’t forget the carrots. They were so intensely sweet after just roasting them with salt, pepper, and olive oil, and I loved how the ends got so crispy.

Sunday dinner FTW.

Pasta E Broccoli
Adapted from Serious Eats, Serves 2

We upped the broccoli and garlic a little bit from the original recipe, and probably added way more chili flakes than it called for.

6 oz. rigatoni
1/2 of a large head of broccoli, cut into florets
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. red chili flakes, or to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Start by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli florets and cook until tender. We cooked them until they were just barely tender*. Remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon and use the same water to cook the pasta, reserving some cooking water after it is cooked.

*I tried to not overcook them because mushy broccoli is usually…disgusting. However, I would cook them more next time for this recipe. It helps later on when you try to break them down into a sauce.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

Add the garlic and red chili flakes and cook until fragrant, about one minute.

Add the broccoli and cook until very tender, about 2-3 more minutes.

When the pasta is cooked, add it to the pan.

Toss well. Add the cheese and a little bit of cooking water until a sauce forms.

We spent too long trying to get the broccoli to cook down, so our rigatoni fell apart a little. Still, delicious.

Roasted Carrots

For this recipe, you just need a bunch of good carrots (I’m starting to sound like Ina), olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Look at these beauties! After trimming the ends off, I chose to scrub them clean instead of peeling them. They were small to begin with and I didn’t want to lose any carrot.

Coat them in a little bit of olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, and plenty of kosher salt. Roast them in a 425° oven for about 30-45 minutes. The time will vary depending on your oven and the size of the carrots. My goal was to get them looking like the carrots we had at Journeyman: super sweet and caramelized.

I took them out when they were caramelized looking on the outside and tender on the inside. They seriously tasted like candy.

Sous Vide Chicken

I picked up a couple of Tuscan marinated chicken breasts from Whole Foods. I was pleasantly surprised that they weren’t dripping in marinade because my Foodsaver does not fare well with liquid! They were mostly lightly coated with chopped garlic, rosemary, and paprika, and olive oil. I added a little extra salt to them because I’m a saltaholic to make sure they were well seasoned.

They sealed up quite nicely.

The general consensus seems to be that the best sous vide chicken is cooked at 140°F. I think an hour would have been enough time in the water bath for the chicken breasts to get to that temperature, but I left them in for a little over 90 minutes just to be safe.

They’re pretty unappetizing straight out of the bag. That’s where the searing comes into play!

I seared one of them in a little bit of olive oil over high heat until they browned on both sides. Much better.

Even though it’s a little hard to tell from the picture, the chicken stayed incredibly moist inside. I can honestly say I have never had a boneless, skinless chicken breasts this good. I’ll have to try skin-on chicken next – I can only imagine how tasty that would be.

I left the other chicken breast in the back and froze it. I’m curious to see if I can just defrost it and sear it at a later date, or if I need to heat the whole bag in the water bath again. More to come on that!

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