Here is a great meal idea that I love to make for my family. It’s very quick to prepare; even on a weeknight after work, you’ll have time to make this! The flavors of the vegetables, garlic, olive oil, chicken and pasta all come together to make this cheerful, healthy main dish that your family will love.
I have a sweet friend at work at KLTV who says her sister always requests that she make this recipe for her when she comes to visit. That’s fun for me to hear! I love it when you guys tell me which of my recipes you’re enjoying and making part of your culinary life.
For those of you with picky eaters: using the tips and thinnest part of the asparagus stems will make your family happier about eating this lovely vegetable. The thick part is too woody for me, and likely for your children, too. I try to buy the thinnest asparagus available; I like it as thin as a pencil or less. If they just can’t take it at all, I would suggest using whole green beans as an alternative; fresh would be best, or use frozen whole green beans. They’re fast and can be seasoned with garlic and salt to be a delicious addition to this recipe!
Mama Steph’s Chicken and Asparagus Pasta Toss
1 pound uncooked rotini pasta (or use penne or elbow macaroni)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups (1-inch) sliced asparagus
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (6-ounce) package precooked chicken strips (or meat pulled from a rotisserie chicken)
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes (or a 28oz can diced tomatoes)
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese
Optional: ½ to 1 cup sliced mushrooms
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
Combine pasta and oil in a large bowl, and toss well.
Slice tomatoes in half; set aside.
Melt butter in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat; add asparagus, onion, garlic, mushrooms (if using) and red pepper flakes. Cook 5 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender, stirring frequently.
Stir in pasta, salt, black pepper, chicken, and tomatoes; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in cheese.
Tip: to make this meal even faster to prepare, boil your pasta on a day off, and stir in a tsp or two of olive oil; the oil inhibits the pasta from sticking together. When cooled, put pasta in a gallon zipper bag, and refrigerate until ready to use. This will keep for several days.
(Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe.)
If you try it, let me know what you think!
You might also like: Mama Steph’s Pasta e Fagiole….an extraordinary, comforting and hearty soup.
Copyright 2013 Stephanie Hill Frazier. All rights reserved.