Monday, May 7, 2012

Penne with Chicken and Asparagus

So this was a fun day when I made this (there's just a little bit of sarcasm in that because truly, it was a really fun day, with a couple of hiccups).  My mom was visiting from Pennsylvania - Gigi, as we can her.  We went to the beach for a couple of hours and thinking that my 2 year old and 6 month old would take naps when we returned home, we decided that we were going to meet my husband for dinner in downtown Savannah.  It was Gigi's last night visiting after all, we wanted to do something fun!  Needless to say, nothing really turned out as planned.  My daughter, the 2 year old, decided "no map!!" (no nap) and was a crank pot for the rest of the evening.  I think she cried/whined for a good hour and a half, during which we had a full blown tantrum resulting in me locking her and myself in her bedroom to try to get her settled.  So pleasant...and dinner out was now out of the question. 

But, what to eat??  We decided pasta would be quick and easy.  I also had some asparagus that I needed to use.  This was sort of my take on a primavera, which is what I googled to come up with this recipe.  Funny because this is adapted from the Pioneer Woman and my mom and I had been talking about how much we enjoy her and her show.  I'll tell you what, this was done pretty fast, really in the time it took to cook the pasta, but I'm sure glad that Gigi was there to help with the kiddos while I made this (Jules eventually calmed down and was back to her pleasant self by the time daddy came home - of course, right?).  


This pasta dish is creamy and the asparagus had just the right snap to it.  You know me, I threw in a little spice while cooking the chicken so that made it all the more flavorful.  Definitely a hit for sort of coming up with on the fly...I will absolutely make again, maybe with broccoli or peas, and definitely with asparagus when I have it.

Serves 4

Penne with Chicken and Asparagus

1 pound penne pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
1/2 tablespoon spicy Montreal grill seasoning
2 tablespoons butter
2 tsp minced garlic (3-4 cloves)
1 pound asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook penne according to directions.  Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add cubed chicken and season with grill seasoning.  Saute until cooked throughout and transfer to a plate, set aside.  Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the butter to the same skillet and cook the garlic until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.  Add the asparagus and saute for another 1-2 minutes (they should still be bright green and have a bite to them, not be soggy).  Remove and transfer to same plate with chicken.

In the same skillet, deglaze the plan with the white wine and scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan.  Add the chicken broth and 1 tablespoon butter, continue cooking for another couple of minutes until the sauce starts to thicken a little.  Add the heavy cream and half and half, stir to combine.  Add the Parmesan cheese, then the chicken and asparagus.  Pour entire sauce mixture over pasta and serve topped with additional Parmesan cheese.  

(Source:  Adapted from Pioneer Woman's Pasta Primavera)

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I'm a super busy mom of 3 and a Beachbody coach. Follow along as I try to find a balance between eating good food and keeping my family healthy and happy! We eat mostly clean with a few fun treats thrown in every once in awhile. Thanks for stopping by!

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