We love a good pasta dish and as always, browsing on Pinterest for a good recipe for ingredients we like, I found this recipe, Chicken and Asparagus Pasta Bake With Fresh Tomatoes, however, I have modified the original. Most recipes I find tend to be dry, so I always add additional liquid than the recipe calls for as during baking the pasta will absorb a lot. There have been times when I have leftovers that I make another sauce to add so it is creamy and good. (Sometimes better) Recipe below for Creamy Garlic Parmesan Sauce almost any pasta dish for extra flavor with parmesan cheese, seasoned with garlic and a creamy texture.
The ingredients are simple with a few spices and some preparation.
There is a not in the recipe for cooking asparagus to crisp tender
Now I will tell you this recipe is not a low calorie dish,
it is a delicious pasta dish that you will want to try and add to your recipes! You could change things up, add different vegetables,
broccoli or spinach instead of asparagus, what would you choose?
- 10 ounces dry pasta (I used a combination of farfalle and campanelle. Any similar size would work.)
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (we like a lot of garlic)
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk, heavy cream or half-and-half (I used half-and-half)
- 3/4 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 Bunch of Asparagus
- 2 cups cooked chicken (cubed or shredded) I used deli chicken)
- 1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, cut into large chunks (I used grape tomatoes sliced in half)
- 1/2 cup dried tomatoes
- Fresh basil or parsley, for garnish (I have some fresh growing in garden)
- Heat oven to 400*
- Grease a casserole dish or pan (mine was 9x13)
- Prepare Asparagus (directions below for crisp tender Asparagus)
- Cook pasta to al dente according to directions, drain (Dont overcook)
- Heat butter and olive oil and saute garlic and onion until softened-Reduce heat
- Add cream cheese and stir to melt, stir in sour cream, parmesan cheese, cream 1/2 & 1/2) and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (if using) Stir until everything is blended and set aside.
- In a bowl mix pasta, tomatoes, spinach and chicken. Add the sauce and mix until everything is coated well.
- Pour into casserole dish- If you feel the pasta is a little dry you could drizzle more 1/2 & 1/2 before adding the remaining mozzarella cheese
- Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until good and bubbly and a little brown.
- You can garnish with fresh basil, and a sprinkle of course pepper.
Preparing the Asparagus: Wash Asparagus, leave spears whole. Drop into boiling water and set timer for 3 minutes Remove Asparagus and drop into a bowl of water with ice cubes to stop the cooking. This will ensure the Asparagus is not over cooked and will stay crisp tender through the heat process. Once it is chilled cut into 1-1/2" pieces to use in cassarole
•If you like a little kick to your casseroles, using red pepper flakes to taste really kicks them up a notch.
When I find that when I have pasta leftovers and will be reheating my pasta dish I want it to be moist, so I make a sauce with white wine, chicken stock and milk or 1/2 & 1/2.
Recipe follows for a Creamy Parmesan Sauce
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup white wine (any kind is fine)
1/2 cup chicken stock ( I use chicken bouillon and make the 1/2 cup)
1 cup of milk or you could use 1/2 & 1/2 I used milk)
2 heaping tbsp of flour
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp of parsley flakes
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Dash of Paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
On low heat, in a pan melt butter, add flour, and liquids still until blended and stir until the mixture thickens. (Like a gravy or roux)
Add the Parmesan cheese and pour over your casserole to reheat.
This sauce could be used on any pasta for a side dish.