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Chicken & Asparagus Penne in a Parmesan Cream Sauce

One part of being a cook is to make food that those we love, will love to eat. The other part is to expose those we love to new food, in order to broaden their palates.  Jim has Schylar this weekend and that boy needs more vegetables.  I know he will eat asparagus without much fuss, in fact, I often have to slap his hand away while I am cooking it to ensure there is enough still left for dinner.
 I had asparagus in the refrigerator that needed to be used.  Plans changed a lot this past week and I didn’t get to use it in the original dish I wanted to use it in.  But I wasn’t going to let it go bad, that stuff is not cheap. I went to bed thinking about what I could make with it and I woke up this morning with a recipe in my head.  That happens from time to time.  I saw a creamy Parmesan sauce, chunks of both chicken and tomato, penne, and the asparagus.Despite having the recipe in my head, I was thoroughly enjoying my lazy day.  I slept in, lounged around, enjoyed two cups of coffee.  Life has been really busy lately and by some miracle this weekend was clear.  Nothing planned or scheduled.  The next month is going to be equally crazy as this past one, so I took full advantage of the down time. But then the text came in at around 4:30 “When’s dinner?”

I got up, and went to work in the kitchen.  I can’t complain about it though.  Cooking for me is therapeutic.  When I get to just be free and make something from the ideas swirling in my head and a few ingredients, I feel most at ease in life.  Bringing a thought to reality, and have that thought turn out to be delicious, that is pure joy for me.

 

Chicken & Asparagus Penne in a Parmesan Cream Sauce

Author: Michelle De La Cerda
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Ingredients

  • ¾ lb . penne
  • 2 lbs . chicken; cubed
  • ½ onion; diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb . asparagus; trimmed
  • 3 tbsp . chicken broth
  • Extra virgin olive oil (about 2 tbsp. +/-)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Parmesan Cream Sauce

  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp . flour
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ? tsp. oregano
  • ½ cup heavy cream or half & half
  • ¼ Parmesan cheese , finely grated

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil.
  2. Once boiling, salt the water liberally, and cook pasta according to package directions.

Parmesan Cream Sauce

  1. In a saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a low boil. 
  2. Slowly whisk the flour in, making sure it is smooth. 
  3. Any lumps will cause the sauce to taste gritty. 
  4. Once the broth and flour has formed a paste, add the garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano.  Whisk well. 
  5. Slowly pour in the cream, whisking constantly. 
  6. Once the cream and paste has been mixed well, slowing incorporate the Parmesan cheese.  
  7. Bring it to a simmer.  
  8. The sauce will be thick. 
  9. Keep warm and set aside.
  10. In a large sauté pan, add the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. 
  11. Add the onion and allow it to brown, about 5 minutes. 
  12. Add the chicken (and more olive oil if needed,) and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste and the garlic. 
  13. Once the chicken is mostly cooked, place the asparagus on top of the chicken. 
  14. Stir gently, and allow to cook for 3 minutes nestled on the chicken. 
  15. Add the can of tomatoes and the chicken broth; this will create a steam that will help cook the asparagus.
  16. Cook an additional 3 minutes.  
  17. Remove the asparagus once they are cooked and still tender-crisped, set aside.
  18. Stir the chicken and tomatoes well, add the cooked penne allowing some pasta water to still cling to the noodles. 
  19. Pour in the cream sauce making sure everything is stirred well. 
  20. Add the asparagus back in and serve. 

Thank you for sharing!

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness
    January 23, 2015 at 5:35 am

    Oh my gosh! This sounds like the perfect thing to make for Valentines day! That Parmesan Cream sounds AMAZING! Pinned!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      January 23, 2015 at 11:07 am

      Thank you Taylor, it’s a wonderful sauce.

  • Reply
    Kristen @ A Mind Full Mom
    January 23, 2015 at 6:11 am

    I have a parmesan cream pasta dish with chicken in it that is what we eat when we need some comfort–the addition of asparagus and diced tomatoes make this much more flavorful! I can’t wait to make this!

    • Reply
      Michelle
      January 23, 2015 at 11:08 am

      Hope you all enjoy it Kristen.

  • Reply
    Lauren @ Healthy Delicious
    January 23, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Tat sauce looks like perfection.

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