Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chicken, Sausage, Asparagus and Mushroom Pasta

by the CookandBeMerry blog

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs. chicken breasts, boneless, skinless & cut into 1-inch portions
1 lb. Italian sausage (any variety), removed from casing
2 tablespoons dry Italian herb mix (purchased, any favorite brand)
2 tablespoons - Kosher or sea salt & ground black pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups yellow, brown or red onion, medium diced
3 tablespoons garlic minced
To season, Kosher or sea salt & ground black pepper

1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed then angle-sliced in 1-inch portions
1 lb. crimini mushrooms (baby bellas), quartered
1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1/2 cup Marsala wine

2 cups Parmigiano cheese, shredded or flaked
1/2 cup Marscarpone cheese, room temperature
1 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

1+ lb. favorite pasta (I used bowtie or Farfalle pasta), cooked in salted water to al dente
1/4 cup purchased basil pesto

Warm the oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the chicken and sausage.  Season with the dry herbs, salt and pepper.

Brown the meat then remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl.  Cover to keep warm.

Using the same skillet (do not clean), warm the butter over medium-high heat.  Stir in the onions and garlic.  Saute just until the onions are tender (2 minutes).  Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Add the asparagus, mushrooms and tomatoes to the skillet.  

Continue to cook just until the asparagus is crisp tender, the mushrooms are soft and the tomatoes barely cook (3-4 minutes).  Off the heat, add the wine, return the skillet to the heat, scraping up any browned portions, cook until it is nearly absorbed. Stir in the precooked chicken and sausage.  Cook, stirring, just until warmed through.

Just before serving, stir the Parmesan, Mascarpone and basil into the ragu.  Toss the pasto with the pesto.  Serve on individual plates or a platter topped with a generous serving of ragu.  Garnish with more parmesan cheese if desired.

I love pasta and enjoy finding new ways to cook it.  On today's "Pioneer Woman's" blog, she was featuring pasta dishes from all over the blog world.  I scrolled through them just because I like looking at the pictures she posted.  I came to a halt when I saw this one.  I was thrilled when I read that I had most of the ingredients even though I still had to go to the store for a few more items.  I whipped this up for dinner tonight it about an hours time.  I'm sure once I make it more often, I could probably whip it up within 45 minutes which isn't too bad.  The Italian sausage I used were links without a casing, which I already had in the refrigerator waiting for me to do something with them.  It was a hot spicy Italian sausage and it tasted great.  I didn't use the pesto at the end only because I'm not a big fan of pesto, it's just too strong for me and always leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  Plus, this dish has plenty of basil in my opinion, don't think it needs anymore.  Hubby seemed to like this dish, especially since it had two kinds of meat.  I'm not sure if Grandma liked it, she's not crazy about mushrooms so she set those aside but otherwise finished off her plate.  There's plenty left so I know what I'll be taking for lunch the rest of the week and I don't mind  one bit!~isavortheweekend

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