Cook's notes: Add a wee bit of green to your evening meal with this easy one pot dish packed with carb, protein and a veggie. Asparagus, a spring vegetable, chicken and lemon all complement one another in this dish.
Recipe adapted from cookingclassy.com and serves 4
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch cubes
- 1- 1/2 TB. olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1-1/2 TB. butter
- 1 TB. minced garlic
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 (14.5 oz) can low-sodium chicken broth
- 1- 3/4 cups water
- 10 oz. penne pasta
- 1 lb. thin stalks asparagus, tough ends trimmed, remaining diced into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 oz. Neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat cream cheese), diced into eight pieces
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped, drained on a paper towel
- 1 tsp. parsley flakes
- dash red pepper flakes
- 1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 TB. fresh lemon juice
- Heat olive oil in a large fry pan with deep sides over medium-high heat. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper to taste and cook until golden brown on bottom, about 4 minutes then rotate and cook until cooked through, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer to a sheet of foil and wrap to keep warm, set aside.
- Melt butter in now empty skillet, add wine, garlic and shallot to skillet. Scrape bottom of pan to lift browned bits. Cook until garlic and shallots are tender and wine is reduced, about 5 minutes.
- Add in broth and water, while stirring to loosen any browned bits from bottom of pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil, then add pasta. Cover and simmer until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.
- Remove cover and sprinkle asparagus over top (don't stir), cover and allow to boil gently 4 - 5 minutes longer or until asparagus and pasta are tender, not mushy (note that there should be some broth/water left even once it's finished cooking, this will be part of the sauce. If needed you can add more broth).
- Add in Neufchatel cheese, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and lemon zest, parsley flakes, dash red pepper flakes, chopped sun dried tomatoes and stir until melted. Stir in chicken. Cook on low heat 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let rest a few minutes if desired to allow sauce to thicken slightly and soak into pasta. Serve pasta dish warm.