2 lbs. thinly sliced chicken breast, marinated
1 lb. Asparagus, sliced and blanched
1 lb. Pasta, I used Penne
2 Tbs. Butter, plus 4 Tbs to finish.
1 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs. Basil Pesto, plus two more for marinade (homemade or store bought)
2 C, Chicken Stock
1/4 C. dry white wine
1 can crushed tomatoes
8 oz. Fresh Mozzarella, cubed
Marinade for Chicken:
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
2 Tbs. Red Wine Vinegar
2 Tbs. Basil Pesto
1/4 tsp. Hot Pepper Flakes.
When using chicken breasts, they tend to dry out quickly. Combine the thinly sliced chicken and marinade, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. Next, spread the chicken pieces out on a baking sheet, and cook in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. Be sure to have gaps between the pieces. This seals in whatever juices and flavors of the marinade and keeps the chicken moist. Set aside the chicken.
Cut the asparagus into 1-2″ pieces, bring a salted pot of water to boil and add the asparagus for about 2 minutes. Drain the asparagus, saving the water, and put the asparagus into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
Using the liquid from the asparagus, add enough water to complete the amount suggested on the package of pasta. Finish following the directions, drain and set aside.
In a soup pan, melt the butter and add the onion and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes. Next, add the chicken stock, wine and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and add the chicken. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the basil pesto and asparagus. Once that begins to boil, turn it off. Slowly whisk in the butter in small amounts. Continue adding and whisking until all the butter is melted.
Add the pasta to the pan and stir to combine. Pour this into a baking dish and top with the mozzarella. Cover and bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
Or, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Then just bake it per directions above.
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Where to Buy Farm Fresh Asparagus
Main Street Produce
100 NE Main Street
Littlleton, North Carolina 27850
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