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May 01, 2018

Spring Bucatini Pasta | Asparagus, Spinach, Mushrooms & Chicken in a Lemon Cream

You all know that I love pasta so much.  I try to limit ourselves to just a couple of a pasta dinners per week.  One is usually a red sauce - spaghetti and meatballs, chicken parm, ragu or bolognese - and one is usually a buttery lemon sauce with chicken or shrimp.  I'm the only one in our family that goes crazy for shrimp, so usually it is chicken.  Emma absolutely loves anything with lemon and chicken, so this dinner was a big hit.  We'll do variations on this all year long, but this one felt particularly springy.  

I always try to add some green veggies for dinner and being seasonal is even better.  The asparagus, mushrooms and spinach help stretch the pasta and give this so much more nutritional heft and flavor and make this feel like spring.  I used bucatini, which is a spaghetti shape but that has a hole down the center, like a tube.  It makes it sort of extra chewy and thick.  You could use any shape - bowtie, penne, angel hair or linguine.  

Lemon Cream sauce may seem complex, but it is just butter, lemon juice and cream.  The prep for the chicken is very simple - just olive oil and garlic salt then grilled or roasted in the oven.   Could not be easier.   I top the entire thing with thick slices of burrata cheese to really put it over the top.  You can stir the cold burrata into the warm lemon-y cream if you want, but I sort of like to savor it little by little with each bite.

Did you notice the new blue check and the green block print linens?  The new collection (Summer Garden) will launch on Thursday morning.

Spring Bucatini Pasta
Asparagus, Spinach, Mushrooms & Chicken in a Lemon Cream

4 small chicken breasts
olive oil
garlic salt
1 pound of pasta (bucatini)
4 tablespoons of butter
1 pound of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2" pieces
1 cup of mushrooms, sliced
1 clove of garlic thinly sliced
2 big handfuls of spinach
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup of cream
sea salt
burrata cheese (or fresh mozzarella or parmesan)

Chicken :
Preheat the grill or oven.  Drizzle the chicken breasts with olive oil, then sprinkle with garlic salt.  Grill for 5 minutes on each side or roast for 18-20 minutes until meat thermometer reads 140 degrees.  Let rest covered, then slice just before serving.

Cook Pasta* :
Cook pasta in salted boiling water for less than two minutes than directed on the package.  You want it to be slightly chewy.  ***Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water to use in the sauce.

  Veggies & Sauce : 

Melt the butter on low in a large sauce or saute pan (it should be large enough to hold all of the pasta, too).  Cook asparagus on medium for about 5 minutes until tender.  Add mushrooms and continue cooking until cooked through.  Add sliced garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Reduce heat to low, then squeeze in lemon juice and stir in cream.  Add sea salt to taste.  Add a little bit of the reserved pasta water, then let simmer until bubbling lightly.  Add spinach and toss it with sauce.

When the pasta is ready add it directly from the boiling water to the sauce with tongs.  Toss with the sauce and let it simmer on low for a minute or two.  Add more pasta water if the sauce seems to thick.  Remove from the heat and add sliced chicken and thick slices of burrata.  Top with parmesan if you'd like.

This is how the sauce looks before the spinach.

You can add lots and lots of spinach - it cooks down to nothing!

Allowing the pasta to cook in the sauce a little helps it to absorb the flavors.

yum!!  this was so, so good.

Oh, that burrata.

This is what dinner typically looks like for us - sort of one pot, but not really.  I always love to hear what you're making for dinner, too... gives me new ideas from the typical spaghetti, tacos, burgers, pizza rotation : )

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