Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rotini with Asparagus, Sage and Peas

My husband recently subscribed us to Food and Wine magazine. I was a little skeptical at first, simply because the food is very "rich", if you know what I mean. On the front of this month's magazine, there was a picture of this meal, and I am so glad that they featured it! We really enjoyed the multiple flavors for the garlic, peas, and asparagus. I added chicken to get a little more protein into the meal. We loved this healthy, quick meal and I will be making it again!

Adapted From: Food & Wine April 2009

1/2 pound whole wheat rotini
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 Tbs. EVOO
3 garlic cloves, miced
1 pound asparagus, cut into 1/2" lengths
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups frozen baby peas
1/4 cup heavy cream (I used skim milk)
2 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. fresh sage
1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese
Salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rotini and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. drain.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO. Add chicken cubes and cook on medium until cooked through. Remove from skillet. With remains of EVOO, add garlic and asparagus and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the stock and boil over high heat until reduce dby half and the asparagus are tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the peas and cream(or milk) to the skillet and boil over high heat until the sauce has thickened, 3 minutes. 
Stir in the rotini and cook until heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in butter, sage, and 1/2 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to bowls and serve right away, passing additional cheese at the table.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Skillet Chicken with Asparagus

I am so excited-we have not eaten pasta in 6 weeks! Now that our P90X diet has become a little more relaxed, we are able to eat whole wheat pasta, which we did even before the diet. This was a perfect meal to kick off our pasta dishes. I did adapt it to be quite a bit leaner, so if you want the original recipe, click here. This was perfectly creamy with delicious hints of flavor and a touch of cheese. I can't wait to make it again!

Adapted from: My Kitchen Cafe

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch squares
Table salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, minced
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 ounces ziti, penne, or thin spaghetti (we used whole wheat pasta)
4 1/4 cups water
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups asparagus, diced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes(optional)
3/4 cup skim milk
3/4 cup grated parmesan or asiago cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoons of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook for 1 minute without stirring. Stir the chicken and continue to cook until most, but not all, of the pink color has disappeared and the chicken is lightly browned around the edges, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a clean bowl and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 2 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the pasta, 3 cups of the water, and the broth. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the liquid is very thick and syrupy and almost completely absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the asparagus, and the remaining 1 1/4 cups water. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the asparagus turns bright green and is almost tender, 2-3 minutes.

Uncover and return the heat to medium-high. Stir in the milk, parmesan, and reserved chicken with any accumulated juices and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is cooked and heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with cherry tomatoes and serve, passing more grated parmesan at the table, if desired.

Serves 5-7.