Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Asparagus Pasta

I love recipes.  I especially love recipes whose measurements are accurately noted as "some."

Tonight we had a quick, one dish meal, portioned just for Magic Man and me.  This recipe was adapted from an article in Southern Living magazine so many years ago I can't recall the issue.  We replaced their pecans with our leftover chicken to present this dish as perfect for our family.

Start "some" (about 1 cup) mini penne pasta boiling in the Dutch oven.  I prefer the penne.  It has the same proportions as the vegetables.

While that's cooking, cut 1 red bell pepper into matchsticks,
cut "some" asparagus into 1" pieces,
chop "some" leftover chicken,
and mince 3-6 cloves of garlic.  Have ready some seasonings to taste:  pepper, basil, parsley, (fresh if you have the luxury of herbs handy) and a chicken bouillon cube.  I cheated this time, since I also have no fresh garlic tonight.  Must be time to head back to the local market.
Also, consider scooping "some" of the pasta water, and have a handful of Parmesan cheese close at hand.

Drain the pasta when it's al dente, breathe a sigh of relief that you were wise to reserve the pasta water ahead of time.  Meanwhile, back in the Dutch oven, begin to saute the red bell pepper.  After some minutes, usually 3, toss in the asparagus.  Stir that around for another three minutes or so.  Add the chicken, garlic, seasonings, and chicken bouillon cube.  Stir in a couple tablespoons of reserved pasta water.  Add more water as needed. Just before serving add the Parmesan, toss to coat.

If you're lucky, pour the mixture into a serving dish just in time for dinner.  Magic Man prefers to scoop it out of the pan.  He dares not wait a moment longer to eat.

This recipe easily exchanges or changes ingredients... shrimp, spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, jalapeno, pasta shape.


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