Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pasta Primavera with Chicken and Asparagus

Tonight, I'm taking my own advice, and making a variation on the Pasta Primavera I prepared last week - there are too many delicious spring vegetables out there right now not to play around a little.  In this version, asparagus stands in for the baby carrots, I added more peas and green onions into the mix, and I used Gardein chicken in place of the pattypan squash.

  • 2 cups (1-inch) sliced asparagus
  • 3 cups (8 ounces) uncooked corkscrew-shaped pasta (such as cavatappi or gobbetti)*
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 Gardein Tuscan chicken breast (without sauce)
  • 1 cup shelled green peas
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup vegan dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup plain non-dairy creamer
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup grated vegan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons green onions
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1. Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a large saucepan.  Add the asparagus and cook for 3 minutes; remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon.  Add the pasta and cook according to package directions; drain and set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cut the Gardein chicken into 1/4-inch wide strips; add to the pan and saute for 5 minutes.  Add the asparagus, green peas, salt, black pepper, and garlic; saute for 2 minutes.  Add the wine, scraping to loosen any browned bits in the pan.

Note: as with last week's recipe, I really enjoyed an unfiltered Pouilly-Fume in this recipe.  Any similar, crisp (vegan) Sauvignon Blanc would work great.

3. Add the creamer and lemon juice; cook for 1 minute.  Add the cooked pasta and the cheese, stirring to combine.  Remove from heat and stir in the green onions, basil, and parsley.

Note: for the cheese, I used the strong cheddar from Sheese, but try vegan Parmesan sprinkles or any other variety you prefer, if desired.

*Gobbetti is the whole wheat version of cavatappi, and is my preference between the two; try the gobbetti from Bionaturae.  If you can't find corkscrew-shaped pasta, any other short variety (such as penne) will work just fine in this recipe. 

Nutrition Info:
4 servings (2 cups), Calories 463

Tasting Notes:
I liked this dish even better than my previous Pasta Primavera.  Because everything was uniform in size, the flavors blended better, and the sauce felt richer even though it was the same (the cheese and cream flavors, in particular, were more pronounced).  A great all-purpose springtime dinner.


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