Lightened Chicken and Broccoli Pasta with Wine From Friuli

Lightened Chicken and Broccoli Pasta recipe delivers the garlicky goodness of the Italian classic without all the calories! Pairs well with an Italian white wine.

Chicken and broccoli pasta is one of my favorite Italian dishes. Somewhere along the way, I learned that lots of butter and oil, and sometimes cream, is they key to this tasty dish as it might be served at a traditional Italian American restaurant. Today I’m serving up a Lightened Chicken and Broccoli Pasta along with a white wine from Friuli for the #ItalianFWT stop to the region.

When Ray from Pairings Wine and Food told me they carried several rich white wines from Friuli, I thought it would be a good time to cook up a lightened chicken and broccoli pasta recipe. Keys to my approach: I use plenty of garlic and the chicken simmers in white wine rather than butter or oil. I also roast broccoli for the dish, finding that the nuttiness of roasted broccoli adds a good flavor that enables you to use a bit less cheese, too. Getting ready for the post I realized I used roasted broccoli in my last #ItalianFWT recipe, too. It is good stuff, but I promise to do something different in January!

Lightened Chicken and Broccoli Pasta recipe

Wine Pairing: So I went with the 2013 Bastianich Malvasia Istriana ($23, 13%) to pair with our Lightened Chicken and Broccoli Pasta recipe. I’ve enjoyed wines from the producer before. You might recognize the Bastianich name–yes, it is owned by the successful restaurateur Joe Bastianich. He is a big fan of the Friuli region and opened a winery there that is producing some wines of good quality.

2013 Bastianich Malvasia pairs well with chicken and broccoli pasta

Now, digging into the background about the bottle I chose, I realized it wasn’t the best selection for #ItalianFWT’s visit to Friuli. The winery is in the region, but the Malvasia grape fruit for the wine comes from Croatia. That’s not too for off from Friuli; a short trip along the Adriatic Sea from the Northeastern Italian region would get you into Croatia. But I would like to have the grapes from the region we are focused on for this event!

Geography challenges aside, the Bastianich Malvasia is a good pairing for the dish. Fairly full-bodied, though lighter than a Chardonnay. Good fruit and a bit of a minerality, a food friendly wine. I was pretty pleased with how the wine paired with the dish.

Lightened Chicken and Broccoli Pasta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Lightened chicken and broccoli pasta has plenty of flavor from garlic, cheese and roasted broccoli.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 bunch broccoli, chopped
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 3 chicken breast fillets, sliced thin crosswise
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 1 tbsp parsley or other fresh herb
  • 12 ozs penne or other short pasta
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 425. Toss the broccoli with 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic powder and a bit of salt to taste.
  2. Spread the broccoli out in a single layer in a medium roasting pan. Place in the oven to roast for about 20 minutes until the broccoli turns tender and begins to brown. Remove roasted broccoli from oven and set aside.
  3. As the broccoli roasts, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium heat in skillet. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the chicken to the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken begins to turn white on the outside.
  5. Stir the cooking wine and herbs into the chicken. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes more, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat, keeping covered to keep warm until ready to toss with pasta.
  6. Start boiling water for the penne after the broccoli has begun roasting. Add the pasta to boil shortly after adding the chicken to the skillet. Cook pasta according to package instructions, then drain.
  7. Toss the pasta together with the chicken and roasted broccoli. Stir the parmesan cheese, then add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy with an Italian white wine!

Join Our #ItalianFWT Conversation
Be sure to check out all the tasty Italian food and wine from Friuli!

If you see this in time, come join our conversation on Saturday December 5th at 11 am EST on Twitter at#ItalianFWT. We look forward to hearing from you then!
Lightened Chicken and Broccoli Pasta has all the garlicky goodness of the Italian classic dish without the calories!


  1. says

    David, looks like a nice pairing. It seems like the boundary between Friuli, Slovenia and Croatia is very fluid in terms of wine. I’m not surprised the Bastianich is using grapes from a short distance away.

  2. says

    I was going to mention the malvasia istriana grape in my post. It’s well worth mentioning especially with the influences of the other countries nearby. I also read about the Bastianich winery there. Interesting they picked such a region to have a wine label.

    • Cooking Chat says

      Thanks Camilla…perhaps! I totally thought I was drinking Friuli grown wine until finishing up the post this a.m.!

  3. says

    Recipe looks delicious! I wanted to pass along a hint someone left me the other day that really helped out! I noticed when I went to tweet your delicious looking recipe it said shared via @shareholic you can change this to your twitter handle! Someone left me the same note a month ago so I figured I pass the favor along!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: