There is still lots of asparagus in the store, and I love to find different ways to use it in recipes. This one is from a couple of years ago, and (as always) I changed it up to more suit our tastes. One of the changes that I made this time was to add some chicken. Al has been somewhat unhappy with the predominately meatless meals that I have been making lately. I don’t ever really crave meat, but since he does, this time there’s chicken in it. I love this pasta, and the chicken really does add to it.
2-3 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (Italian style)
1 t oregano
1 t basil
1/2 t thyme
salt and pepper to taste
Cook onion and garlic in a medium-sized pot that has been coated with cooking spray until onion is translucent, and starts to brown on the edges. Add tomatoes and spices, stir to mix,and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer about 15 – 20 minutes while you make the rest.
16 oz baby pasta shells
2 bunches asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
8 oz cooked chicken, cubed
1 bunch fresh basil, coarsely chopped
the marinara sauce
Parmesan cheese if desired
Add asparagus to a large pot of boiling water and cook about 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender crisp. Drain and run cold water over to stop cooking. Set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Return pasta back to the pot with asparagus, chicken, basil, and the marinara sauce. Mix together and serve with parmesan cheese if desired.