Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
8 ounces whole grain pesto gemelli pasta, such as Eden brand
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons dried herbs d’ Provence—the well-known herbs in a small round terra cotta bottle—or fines herbs
1 bunch (about 14 ounces) asparagus spears, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup low salt chicken broth
1/4 cup prepared reduced fat basil pesto, such as Contadina-Butoni brand
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Optional toppings: chopped fresh basil or parsley, grated Asiago cheese and toasted pine nuts
Heat broiler. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, cut chicken into 1 inch chunks; toss with oil and dried herbs and spread out on a nonstick jelly roll pan. Broil 5 to 6 inches from heat source for 6 minutes. Add asparagus pieces to chicken mixture; stirring to coat lightly with oil. Continue broiling 4 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and asparagus is crisp-tender. Transfer cooked pasta to a colander to drain. Add broth, pesto, salt and pepper to pot; mix well. Add pasta and chicken mixture; toss well and transfer to shallow pasta bowls; top with basil, cheese and pine nuts, if desired.
If you prefer, the chicken may be baked in a 450 degree oven for 8 minutes and the asparagus added to cook for another 6 to 8 or until the chicken is cooked through. Don’t be put off by the oil in this dish…3/4 is monounsaturated and healthy for the heart. Tossing the chicken with the dried herbs and then offering a blast of hot dry heat is a nice way to maximize the flavor—just toasty enough to boost it, but not enough to burn it.
Mediterranean or Greek leaf oregano may replace the herbs d’ Provence—the flavor will be sharper and a little more aggressive. Pasta that is not flavored can also be used, but I’d suggest cooking it al dente, and using a little more pesto, so the pasta can soak up the flavor.
Fat Calories: 112.00 g
Total Fat: 12.50 g
Sat. Fat: 2.60 g
Cholesterol: 98.80 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 18.70 g
Fiber: 1.80 g
Sugars: 1.60 g
Protein: 29.00 g