Monday, March 29, 2010

Lemon Cream Pasta with Asparagus and Chicken

Asparagus is another shun ingredient I picked up at the grocery store.  Asparagus season begins around mid-April and lasts about two months.  So strictly speaking, it's a little far ahead.  But since Wegmans had beautiful asparagus, I reached for a bundle.

Though it is cream based, this pasta is very light and refreshing.  When you make lemon zest, try to grate only the outermost, yellow part of the lemon skin.  The white part of the lemon, the lemon pith, is very bitter, and it will give your dish an undesirable taste.  Any grater/zester should work fine, but I like Microplane Grater/Zester.  It works very well for this job.

The chicken can be substituted with different proteins such as shrimp, squid, salmon and prosciutto.  If you are vegetarian, omit the chicken and use vegetable stock in stead of chicken stock.  That works just fine.

Lemon Cream Pasta
with Asparagus and Chicken
Print Recipe

5chicken tenders
9ozfresh pasta* or about 7oz dried pasta

olive oil


1/3 cupdry white wine
1 Tbsplemon juice
1/3 cupchicken stock
1/4~1/3 cupheavy cream
1~2 Tbsplemon zest

parmigiano reggiano, grated

  1. Fill a large stock pot at least half full with water and bring to a boil.  Cut off the tough end of the asparagus, about two inches.  Cut the chicken tenders into one inch pieces.
  2. Add one table spoon of salt into the boiling water.  Blanch the asparagus about one to two minutes and shock with cold water.  Cut into three inches and set aside.  If you are using dried pasta, start cooking the pasta according to the directions on the box.
  3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Generously season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and add to the skillet and cook until lightly brown.  Transfer the chicken to a plate, cover with aluminum foil and set aside.  If you are using fresh pasta, you may start cooking around this point. 
  4. Add a little more oil to the skillet.  Add onions and cook for 3 minutes, pour in the white wine and the lemon juice and scrape off all the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet.  When the liquid is reduced by half, add the chicken stock and simmer about two minutes.  Return the chicken to the skillet and add the heavy cream and the lemon zest.  Stir well and season with salt.  Add the cooked pasta,  and give it a good toss.  Serve it on to a plate and top with parmigiano reggiano if desired.

Serves 2~3