Whenever the weather is cold, damp and gloomy outside I like to stay indoors and make some delicious “comfort food”. Today is that day. Cheese and pasta make a great combination of comfort food, but to keep it on the lighter side, I also added lean, chicken for the protein and some colorful vegetables for nutritious vitamins. I only used about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and used the pasta water to help thicken the sauce. In less than 15 minutes, I had a healthy, delicious and colorful meal!
In this recipe I used “Gemelli” pasta which is a shorter, spiral type of pasta. But you can use whatever type you like. I like to try and use various types and sizes of pasta for variety. This one allows the sauce to grab onto the pasta for that added flavor! Plus, it looks more interesting on your plate. The prosciutto added just the right amount of saltiness and some added protein. The asparagus and sun dried tomatoes added the beautiful, festive color that I love to see in my food. (Nothing worse than looking at a white plate of food.)
Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc. (helping to fight colds). It also contains beta-carotene (for eye health), vitamin E, (for your heart and lungs) vitamin K, (helps prevent blood clotting) thiamin (vitamin B1- for memory) riboflavin Vitamin B2 for increasing energy levels), niacin (vitamin B3-might help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease) , folic acid (for pregnant women) and iron (aids in trasporting oxygen to the body cells)
The vegetable also contains relatively high levels of vitamin C, that is great for healthy skin and may help fight cold and flu symptoms.
So, if you try this recipe, please post your thoughts and results to share and as always, enjoy!
Gemelli Pasta with Chicken, Asparagus and Sun Dried Tomatoes
Ingredients: Serves 1:
- 1/2 cup gemelli pasta
- 4 ounces, boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to season
- 1 slice prosciutto, chopped
- 2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes, chopped (about 3 pieces)
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme (about 1 sprig)
Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook for about 1-12 minutes, reserving about 1/2 cup of the boiled water.
While the pasta is cooking, cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a skillet and when hot, you’ll see it glistening, add the chicken and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the asparagus and mix thru, turning the chicken pieces over to brown. Cook for 3 more minutes. Add the sun dried tomatoes and garlic and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
Add about 1/4 cup of the pasta water to the chicken mix and stir. With a slotted spoon, remove the pasta and add to the chicken mixture. Allow to cook for a minute. Add the Parmesan cheese and mix thru to melt. You can add a bit more of the pasta water if it becomes dry. Add in the thyme and mix thru. Serve with some additional cheese if desired.