Lemon Asparagus Pasta w/Chicken

Here is yet another recipe that I found on Pinterest. I like pasta, I like asparagus and I’m okay with lemons, so I figured I would try it. I did make one kind of big mistake though. I must have glossed over the part where the recipe said that the chicken would need to be grilled prior to making this dish. I don’t have a grill or a grill pan (but they are on my wedding registry) so I just through the chicken in a regular pan and cooked it. So I’m pretty sure that this meal would’ve tasted ten times better if I had actually grilled the chicken first. Other than that minor issue, the recipe was very easy to make. And it lasted for a very long time. My fiancé went out of town for a work trip and I literally had 1 ½ weeks’ worth of food. Also, one serving of this recipe is less than 400 calories. I’m counting calories now (can’t eat more than 1200 a day) so that’s really important to me nowadays.

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INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and cut into strips
  • 1 pound of asparagus, ends removed, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 10 ounces of linguine pasta (spaghetti or fettuccine will also work)
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • Optional garnishes: lemon slices and ¼ cup chopped parsley

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Cook the pasta in salted water according to package instructions. Add the asparagus to the pot during the last 3 minutes of cooking time.
  2. Reserve ¼ cup of pasta cooking liquid.
  3. In small pot, combine the heavy cream, butter and ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice.
  4. Place the pasta and asparagus back into the pot you cooked it in along with the chicken.
  5. Pour the cream sauce over the pasta mixture and toss to coat evenly, adding pasta water if needed to thin the sauce. Stir in the parmesan cheese. Alternatively, you can toss just the pasta with the sauce and arrange the chicken and asparagus over the top of the pasta.
  6. Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon slices if desired.
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