Last week, I cooked my first homemade meal in the new apartment. I attempted to work with the ingredients already in the fridge, but had to run to the store to buy a few items. I already had whole grain penne, so I based my meal off of this item.
I wanted to make a somewhat healthy pasta, since I would be working with whole grain noodles. I bought fresh asparagus and planned to steam it; however, we have yet to buy a saucepan that our steamer can fit in. So, I went with plan B and instead sautéed the asparagus in olive oil, lemon and pepper.
Not having the correct sized saucepan was a blessing because the slightly browned asparagus infused with lemon gave the pasta that extra pop of flavor it needed. This recipe makes enough pasta for days and heats up well. I can vouch for that, as I’ve brought it to work for the past two days!
Organic olive oil
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded
2 1/2 lemons
2 tsp. garlic powder, divided
2 tsp. black pepper, divided
2 tsp. salt, divided
2 (14 oz.) cans chicken broth, or about 3 1/2 cups homemade chicken broth
1 box Eating Right whole grain penne
1 cup half & half
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup fresh shredded parmesan
1 stalk asparagus
Over medium heat, warm a skillet then add about 2 tsp. olive oil. Season both sides of chicken breasts using 3/4 tsp. salt, 3/4 tsp. pepper and 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder. Once warm, add chicken breasts to skillet. Squeeze juice of 1/2 lemon evenly over chicken breasts. Cook chicken, about 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add box of whole grain penne with 1 tsp. salt. Once pasta reaches desired consistency, remove from heat and strain.
In a large saucepan, season the chicken broth with remaining 1/2 tsp. garlic powder and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Bring to a boil and add juice of 1 lemon and drained penne. Reduce heat to medium and cook until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes.
For asparagus, heat a medium skillet then add 2 tsp. olive oil. Place asparagus in pan then drizzle 2 tsp. olive oil, juice of 1/2 lemon and a pinch of pepper on top. Cover with a lid and cook about 3 to 5 minutes, until asparagus reaches desired texture.
Cut cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and stir into cooked pasta. Add half & half and lemon zest. Cook, stirring over low heat, for about 5 minutes. Remove pasta from heat. Spoon pasta on plate and place sautéed asparagus on top.