2 skinless chicken breasts, cut in slices about 1/4 " thick then in bite-size morsels
6 or so leaves of sage
1 cup broccoli florets, steamed (optional)
1 red pepper, seeded, coarsley diced, sautéed in olive oil or butter (optional)
8 oz pasta (fettucine, tagliatelle) or 12 oz (3/4 package) penne, etc. (Fettucine is heavier).
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (or 2 of olive oil for sauteeing the chicken and 2 of butter for the sauce)
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan), at room temperature, plus extra cheese to pass at the table
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and freshly ground pepper (use white pepper if you have it)
a pinch of grated nutmeg
SET the pasta water to boil.
IN a pan large enough to hold all the ingredients, sauté the chicken in 2 tablespoons of butter or good olive oil until lightly browned. Set aside in a warm place.
COOK the pasta. Remember to reserve some of the cooking water to moisten your chicken Alfredo if it is too dry.
ADD the heavy cream, 2 tablespoones of butter and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese to the same pan. Keep cooking on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture reduces slightly and thickens.
ADD pinch of nutmeg, 3 - 4 leaves of sage, salt and pepper to taste. Stir.
ADD the cooked chicken and optional ingredients and mix again. Taste for salt. Add a TBSP or two of the pasta cooking water if too dry.
ADD the cooked and well-drained pasta to the sauce. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
TURN into a warmed serving bowl, or directly onto warmed plates.
VARIATION: Turn pasta mixture into a baking dish, sprinkle 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese on top, and set under broiler for about 30 seconds, until flecked with brown (2nd picture).
PASS grated Parmesan at the table.