Who’s ready for spring produce? Picture me raising my hand really high, like a nerd in the front row of math class. While I love root vegetables of all kinds, I’m ready for some nice crunchy asparagus! I eat a metric ton of asparagus all through the spring and summer – mostly grilled, but I’ll take it anyway I can get it.
The word primavera means “spring” in Italian, so even though we’ve had a rainy, cold spring here in Michigan, I decided to brighten up my dinner with this light and fresh pasta dish. This is another one of those meals that instead of serving a bowl of pasta with some vegetables on the side, I just put it all in the pot and stir. I like to do that. So easy.
Spring Vegetable and Chicken Primavera
- 12 ounces spaghetti
- 1/2 bunch asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound chicken tenderloins
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 leek (white and light green parts only), halved lengthwise then cut crosswise into thin slices
- 3 medium carrots, thinly sliced diagonally
- 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat large pot of salted water to boiling over high heat. Add pasta and cook as label directs, adding asparagus and peas during last 2 minutes of cooking. Reserve 3/4 cup cooking water, then drain pasta and vegetables. Return pasta to saucepot and cover to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly browned, turning occasionally. Transfer chicken to plate; cover to keep warm.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic and leek to skillet and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add carrots and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth and 1/2 cup reserved cooking water; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 2 minutes. Add chicken and simmer 2 minutes longer or until sauce thickens slightly and chicken is cooked through. Stir in basil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and lemon zest.
- Pour vegetable mixture over pasta and toss until well combined. Add more pasta cooking water if mixture seems too dry. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.