How about a pasta dish that is under 300 calories per serving? Yes, please!
We love, love, LOVE this pasta dish! When fresh asparagus hits the stores, this recipe immediately goes in our line-up! The asparagus adds that great freshness to the overall taste, while the balsamic butter coats everything with a sweet tanginess. And, fresh Parmesan? The perfect way to top it all off!
The funny thing about this recipe is that it screams spring-time . . . thanks to that asparagus. But, the balsamic butter also gives the recipe a bit of comfort. In the fall/winter months when asparagus isn’t at it’s best, just sub in some steamed broccoli and you’ve got a dish that you can add to your favorites year-round!
Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
1 pound fresh asparagus spears
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon light or dark brown sugar
8 ounces whole wheat/grain penne pasta, dry
2 tablespoons light butter, cut into pieces (I used Smart Balance)
1 pound chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and discard them. Cut the asparagus spears into 1-inch pieces. Put the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 of the pepper. Roast until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
While the asparagus roasts, put the vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until the vinegar is reduced to about 5 tablespoons, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until melted.
Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling salted water until just done, 11-13 minutes. Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Stir in the balsamic butter mixture. Toss to combine well. Add in the asparagus, chicken, Parmesan, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan cheese for serving.
Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Fat: 7.3g (2.3g = Sat.)