Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pasta with Balsamic Chicken and Asparagus

Simple and elegant.  That's what this dinner is.  So easy, so fast, and so good.  This meal is perfect for any weeknight where the whole family has lots of things to do--in our house, it is grad school (round 4 between the two of us), tutoring, and running club.  However, for families with hockey, soccer, gymnastics, piano, violin, and more on the plate, this is the perfect go-to fresh meal. 

Wheat pasta very lightly coated in basil-infused olive oil; asparagus tossed with a tiny bit of salt and pepper and olive oil; fresh chicken with balsamic vinegar, rosemary, thyme, and a splash of olive oil; and freshly grated parmesan cheese.  That's all it takes. 

Not only is this good for busy weeknights, but it would also be great the night before long runs.  (Remember when I ran marathons?  Fast?  And qualified for Boston?  Twice?....I don't, sadly.)  Yes, this is the perfect training meal too.  2012 will mark the first year in many that I have not run a marathon (or more) in.  Maybe I should stop cooking/baking and start running again.  Better yet, I should go back to the days of doing both.  Resolution set.  :)

Tangents aside, this meal is awesome.  Perfectly fresh, tasty, hot, and quick.  You'll love it.


Pasta with Balsamic Chicken and Asparagus
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • a glug or two of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 4 or 5 healthy glugs of balsamic vinegar
  • about 1 tablespoon of rosemary  (maybe more...I don't measure well)
  • about 1 tablespoon of thyme  (again, I am not really sure...I like to dump, not measure)
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into smaller pieces...and a little bit of olive oil
  • 1/2ish pound of wheat spaghetti
  • a light coating of basil-infused olive oil
  • paremesan cheese, grates
  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and discard them. Cut the spears into 1-inch pieces. 
  2. Put the asparagus on a baking sheet lined with nonstick tinfoil and toss with the glug of extra virgin olive oil and a little bit of salt and fresh ground pepper. 
  3. Roast until tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. At the same time, add the chicken pieces, balsamic, rosemary, thyme, and little bit of olive oil to a tagine or to a saute pan.  Cook over medium until the chicken is juicy and completely done. 
  5. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling, salted water until just done.  
  6. Drain the pasta and toss with the basil-infused olive oil.  
  7. Top with the chicken and asparagus. 
  8. Serve with additional Parmesan.


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