Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta

It seems like it’s been a while since I’ve made pasta for more than just one. But, that is exactly what I decided to do tonight – and, man oh man, did it hit the spot! It was a hit with everyone – and this is one that will definitely be making it into our normal rotation!

I started by prepping the ingredients – cubing the chicken, cutting the bacon and the asparagus.

I cooked the bacon first. Once it was done, I removed it from the pan and set it aside.

Then I added in the chicken and the umami seasoning and cooked it until the chicken was almost done. There is just something about cooking chicken in bacon fat – you just can’t go wrong!

Finally I added in the asparagus and sauted it for a few minutes.

Then I added in the chicken stock, salt and pepper – and allowed this to cook, covered, until the chicken was fully done and the asparagus had started to soften.

To finish the sauce, I added in the heavy cream and the parmesan cheese. I stirred the mixture well, allowing the cheese to melt.

While working on the sauce, I cooked the pasta (in well salted water!) until it was about 1/2 done. After the cheese had melted in the sauce, I added the pasta to the skillet, along with about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

The dish then cooked until the pasta was fully done and the sauce thickened.

Just before serving, I added in the bacon and mixed it through.

This was a delicious meal and one that I know we’ll repeat time and again!

Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta

2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 slices thick cut bacon, cut into smaller pieces
1 box pasta (a short pasta will work best)
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 – 3/4 cup pasta water
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp umami seasoning
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

  • Prep chicken by cutting into 1 inch cubes
  • Prep asparagus by cutting into 1 inch pieces
  • Prep bacon by cutting into small pieces
  • Cook bacon and remove from pan
  • Add chicken to pan and season with umami seasoning, cook until almost done
  • Add in the asparagus and saute for a few minutes
  • Add in the chicken stock, salt and pepper – cover and cook until chicken is well done and asparagus is starting to get tender
  • Add in the heavy cream
  • Add in the parmesan cheese and melt
  • Cook pasta in well salted water, until it is about 1/2 way done
  • Add pasta to the pan, along with 1/2 – 3/4 cup of pasta water
  • Cook until the pasta has finished cooking and the sauce has thickened
  • Add bacon in at last minute

Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta

I’ve seen this on the menu at several restaurants, all slightly different – grilled shrimp, fried shrimp, broiled shrimp, for example – but, the one thing that seems to stay the same is the bang bang sauce.

I knew that the bang bang sauce had mayonnaise (I know that seems odd for pasta, but trust me, it’s good!), sweet chili sauce and sriarcha. I decided to add a little garlic, red pepper flakes and a little bit of lime juice to mine.

Another thing that I’ve seen varied is the type of pasta. I chose to add linguine. To me – spaghetti is too thin to really ‘hold’ the sauce and short pastas just don’t seem ‘right’ to me. So linguine it was!

Since I was cooking just for myself (probably for my lunch and my dinner), I decided to make this recipe a ‘for two’ (or 1 really hungry person!) recipe. So, all of my ingredients are sized accordingly. I could have made a larger dish, but I don’t love reheating shrimp.

I use frozen shrimp, so I took out enough shrimp for the dish and defrosted them in cold water.

While the shrimp were defrosting, I started my pasta. I added about 1/2 of a full box of linguine to well salted, boiling water.

While the pasta was cooking, I put together my bang bang sauce – I’m not going to lie – I could have eaten this by the spoon! It’s GOOD! As noted above, I used mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, sriracha, red pepper flakes, garlic and a bit of lime juice.

And, I just whisked it all together and set it aside.

After my shrimp were thawed, I sauteed them in a hot pan with 1/2 tbsp of butter.

Just before putting them in the pan, I seasoned them with a little bit of salt and pepper (I didn’t want to use any seasonings that would compete with the bang bang sauce).

It doesn’t take long to cook shrimp, so don’t walk away!

By the time my sauce was done and my shrimp were cooked, my pasta was done. I have a pasta pot, with the pasta insert, which makes it so easy when you’re ready to toss pasta into a pan with the sauce.

I just drained the pasta and poured it into the skillet with the shrimp. Then I added in the bang bang sauce (in hind sight, I probably would have added the bang bang sauce to the shrimp first).

With tongs, I just stirred everything through.

Because I like spice, I added a few more red pepper flakes and sriracha, before eating!

Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta (for 2)

1/2 box linguine
12-15 shrimp (can use frozen – defrost prior to cooking)
1/2 tbsp butter
salt and pepper

Sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1/2 – 1 tsp sriracha (I used a little more than that)
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp lime juice
Red pepper flakes, to taste

  • Cook pasta, per directions on box
  • Salt and pepper your shrimp, and then saute in butter, in a large skillet (you’re going to add your pasta into the skillet, later)
  • To make sauce, mix all ingredients together in a bowl
  • Once your pasta and shrimp are done, add pasta and bang bang sauce to the skillet and mix through

Vegetable Pasta for One (and change)

I love the days that I work from home, because it means that I can have something fresh cooked for lunch. I do love my leftovers, but it is nice to get my lunch out of a pan or a pot, rather than the microwave, when I can.

Today was a work from home day! Enter a delicious pasta meal for one (if you’re REALLY hungry) or two moderately hungry people. Having skipped breakfast, I was REALLY hungry!

I decided on some simple ingredients: pasta, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, garlic, lemon, store bought pesto sauce and seasonings.

I started by boiling my pasta and chopping up some artichoke hearts and slicing some cherry tomatoes (I love both of these foods, so much). They would be good added, as is, but I wanted to cook them up just a little bit in a pan to heighten the flavors.

The vegetables were added to a pan, after spraying a little bit of avocado spray and cooking some minced garlic a bit.

After the vegetables cooked for a while, I added the liquids (cream and lemon juice) to create a light sauce.

The next step was just to toss the cooked pasta in the skillet and mix it all together.

Finally, the pasta was topped with parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Easy, quick and delicious lunch for one!

Vegetable Pasta for one (and change)

1 serving of pasta (I used spaghetti)
10-15 cherry tomatoes (halved)
2-3 artichoke hearts (from jar)
1 tbsp pesto sauce
cooking spray / oil (I use avocado spray oil)
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon (depending on how much you like – I used a whole lemon)
2 tbsp heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese
Fresh basil

  • Boil pasta as directed, until al dente
  • Spray skillet with a small amount of cooking
  • Put a small amount of cooking spray / oil in pan
  • Add garlic and cook for a few minutes
  • Add tomatoes and artichokes to pan and cook about 5 min
  • Add salt and pepper (just a pinch of each, or to taste)
  • Add cream and warm through
  • Add lemon juice and allow to cook 2 – 3 min
  • Toss in pasta
  • Top with parmesan cheese and basil and serve