Whole Wheat Penne with Roasted Asparagus, Sautéed Chicken, Spinach and Goat Cheese Cream Sauce

OinK's Whole Wheat Penne with Roasted Asparagus, Sautéed Chicken, Spinach and Goat Cheese Cream Sauce

Tonight’s dinner was finally worth posting… I’ve had a lot of things going on in my life (mostly good!) and have basically neglected the crap out of this blog (per usual since I started working), so I’m not going to make excuses, I’m just going to cut to the chase and give you the recipe :)  This came about because I had some stuff in my fridge that I had purchased with the intent of making other things and then had extra and/or never made those things (oops).  Here’s what I had, and what you would need, to replicate this insanely easy dish:

The Elements:
1 bunch of asparagus (I prefer the thinner variety)
2 handfuls of coarsely chopped spinach
2 chicken breast halves (or one full chicken breast)
1 box whole wheat penne pasta
4-5 oz. goat cheese
Olive Oil (for drizzling)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Whole Wheat Penne with Roasted Asparagus, Sautéed Chicken, Spinach and Goat Cheese Cream Sauce

Put pot of water on high heat to boil
Preheat oven to 400
While water is coming to a boil and oven is warming, rinse your asparagus and cut off the white ends
Cut asparagus into 1/2-1 inch pieces and spread out on a baking sheet– then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and toss with hands to coat evenly
Cut the chicken into cubes and season with salt and pepper
Bring a saute pan to medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan, then add the chicken
Cook pasta according to instructions on box, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining (I usually do this by ladling some into a measuring cup but there may be an easier way to do this)
While pasta is cooking, roast asparagus for 6-8 minutes until a little tender but still crunchy
While cooking pasta and roasting asparagus, turn chicken to brown on all sides and cook until no longer pink and cooked through (you can cut through a piece to see if it’s done)
After draining the pasta, put the pasta back into the pot, and add the asparagus, spinach and goat cheese–mix
Add in the pasta water slowly, while stirring, to melt the goat cheese and wilt the spinach slightly
Then when it is all incorporated, add in the chicken and stir it to mix in well
Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste
Top each plate with freshly grated parmesan (optional but highly recommended)

The Verdict:
Easy and fast to make!  Add in the fact that it’s relatively healthy (keep your portions in check!) and it was a total winner… it made a huge batch so Matt and I both had dinner and we have a ton left over to last us for a few days!  This was definitely a good one, and I will be adding it to my regular rotation for sure!  Enjoy!

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