Monday, May 26, 2014

Creamy Pasta Primavera

Sooooo, this is an exercise in finding/creating balance... fresh from the farmers market veggies, herbs, lemon juice, light chicken breast... and pasta, cream and Parmesan. I imagine Lady Justice looking skeptically at my theory of balance. Regardless, it was a gorgeous dinner, and totally comfort food. We needed it after a lovely weekend with my mom for company, a thunder storm and lots of getting business done sorts of thing. 

I based a lot of this recipe on how I make the cream sauce for this Chicken Tequila Fettuccine. It's creamy enough to make for all that satisfying comfort, but not so thick that the meal is overwhelming or too heavy. I wanted a different flavor though, so I added sliced cherry tomatoes, fresh peas, and loads of asparagus. In place of the cilantro used in the original, I used Italian parsley. No booze in this one at all, but a splash of lemon juice at the end was a nice burst and a good tang. The chicken browns up and then poaches all the way through so it stays super tender. YUM!

Creamy Parsley Primavera
Serves 6 in a hearty way

1 pound dry pasta - I used Fettuccini
1/2 an onion, sliced - about 1/2 a cup
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups sliced cherry tomatoes
1 cup sliced fresh peas
1 pound asparagus, tips and tender tops, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped parsley, more for garnish
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound chopped chicken breasts cut into pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
Fresh lemon

In a large pot, start water to boil for noodles. As water boils, heat oil in a large pan (the pan needs to be large enough to fit all the sauce and all the pasta - I used a 10" high sided skillet) and add onions, parsley and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes or until onions start to loosen up and edges become translucent. Take care not to burn the garlic.

Add chicken pieces, season with salt and pepper, and brown a bit. Add all of the chicken broth, and cook uncovered until chicken cooks through. Add in all of the asparagus and let it cook for about 2 minutes, or until tender-crisp. 

Add in all of the cream, tomatoes and peas and heat through. Add in drained pasta. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and dish up into bowls, spooning more sauce over pasta. Top with more Parmesan, more chopped parsley, and fresh ground pepper. Squeeze lemon over pasta and enjoy!!

This pasta is totally enjoyed by the whole fam-bam, toddler included. It's not part of the regular rotation, but saved for a night we need something special and comforting. It's awesome as leftovers and reheats really well in a skillet over medium heat.

Things made this time last year...

Strawberry Mint Lemonade

Mango Guacamole and Homemade Salsa


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