Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bowtie Pasta with Chicken, Asparagus, and Lemon

Let me start by saying that I feel much more competent when it comes to baking than cooking.  I am so glad we are doing dinners this year so I can get out of my comfort zone a little bit and cook some new things and maybe become a little bit better than before.

 This recipe actually called for penne pasta but I figured it didn't matter all the much.  Hadlee wanted bowtie, and I think when my kids have some kind of say in dinner, they are more likely to eat it.  I am not sure if it's because I let her choose the shape of the pasta or not, but my kids seemed to like this quite a bit.  I love all the components of this dish, especially the asparagus.  It's something we don't have all that often, but when we do, it makes me happy.  The fresh herbs and lemon make this really feel light, fresh, and delicious.  The best news?  According to the book a 1 2/3 cup serving is 380 calories.  I'm sure that changes slightly depending on what pasta and other ingredient you use, but still, that's pretty good for a pasta dish.

I used chicken tenderloins, cooked them whole and sliced them after the first sear the recipe calls for.  (I have a thing about cutting raw meat/chicken and try to avoid it when I can.)  I also wondered if it would have been easier to keep the asparagus whole (after trimming the ends) until after it was cooked.  It wasn't super easy to fish the 1 inch pieces out of my stock pot after boiling them.  My sauce wasn't as thick as I thought it would be after the 15 minutes of simmering so I tossed the chicken with about another T of flour before adding it back to the sauce.  It seemed to do the trick.

I have never used leeks before. (gasp)  Well, not that I can remember anyway, and I really liked them.  I am going to start using those things all over the place.  I also didn't expect myself to really like the thyme flavor but I did. (I don't think I used the whole 2 tsp though, maybe 1 or 1 1/2 because I was scared.)
I felt like it was a bit too lemony but I tend to be that way when it comes to lemon.  Hadlee added more lemon to hers, so there ya go.  Next time, I might reduce the lemon a bit (and just let Hadlee add to hers) and either reduce the amount of pasta or double the amount of chicken and asparagus.  We are trying to be a little better about what we eat lately and even though the pasta was whole grain, I felt like the ratio was a bit off; there was a lot of pasta compared to protein and veggies.  All in all, this was a win for us and something we would make again, and soon! 

If you'd like to try the recipe, you can get it at Valerie's blog (or you can buy the book).  She was our hostess for the week and picked a great recipe.


  1. Glad you liked it. I have never used leeks before either but was pleasantly surprised by them.

  2. We have used thyme twice in a row. For the turkey sausage and now this. My son didn't mention the grassiness this week, so maybe it is growing on them. It is growing on me for sure. I quite like it now that I know what it is.
    I got it as part of a variety spice rack for my wedding and it hasn't seen much use in the past 13 yrs. With Table Talk, however, the jar is being emptied, and the aroma is filling my kitchen. Luckiy, the flavor and scent are still potent.


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