Sometimes I just like to throw a bunch of vegetables together, sauté them with or without meat, and toss them into pasta for dinner. It’s a great variety of flavors and always totally satisfying. My P.S. prefers I add meat, so he keeps us provided with boneless skinless chicken breasts in the freezer. Fast to thaw and slice, easy to include in my pasta binges.
I prefer a creamy sauce with the pasta dish but sometimes just using oil, garlic and some herbs makes a more classic Italian dish that is flavorful in a whole different way. I did that recently and it was an amazingly satisfying dinner. Healthy and comforting, with enough leftovers for a couple of lunches the rest of the week as a bonus.
I started by preparing my asparagus and sautéing it in a large nonstick skillet until it was no longer crispy. I was out of large bell peppers, but had some small sweet bell peppers. I sliced them up and added them to the skillet. You could use either small or large peppers.
This time I happened to have chicken thigh meat in the fridge. It was leftover from another recipe and I only had to slice it into smaller pieces and fry it.
I love having mushrooms on hand although it’s rare because we usually use them immediately in so many ways. I had white button mushrooms and cleaned and sliced them before sautéing them for a few minutes in the skillet..
It had been awhile since I’d used hot chili oil, which brings a great flavor as well as some heat to the pasta. I also used some garlic powder, salt, pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes. I stirred the spices into the skillet.
I also had cherry tomatoes and they are a great pop of flavor when barely cooked. I cut them in half and tossed them into the skillet to heat through.
I’d added angel hair pasta to my salted boiling water and cooked it just until al dente. When I drain pasta I always pour some of the pasta water into a small pitcher in case I want to use it when tossing the pasta with whatever sauce I’m making. It is more easily absorbed into the pasta and the starch will help thicken the sauce.
After I’d drained the pasta and tossed it into the skillet with the veggies and chicken, I added more water and let it absorb into the pasta.
I plated the pasta primavera with green onions sprinkled over the top. We dug in and enjoyed our pasta dinner with its riot of vegetable flavors. And chicken of course.
It’s difficult to describe a pasta dish that is this interesting. I simply have to say again, it has so many flavors each mouthful is a different experience and you’ll be happy and satisfied with this dish. You can add and subtract vegetables depending on the season or the contents of your fridge.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1# asparagus; ends snapped, cut into 1” pieces
1 large sweet bell pepper
1# chicken thigh meat
8 ounces white button mushrooms; sliced
6 large cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons hot chili oil, or to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Large pinch red pepper flakes
10 ounces angel hair pasta; cooked al dente
Green onions; chopped
Cook angel hair pasta in boiling water to al dente as you are stir frying the chicken and vegetables. Drain pasta, reserving several cups of pasta water.
Heat a nonstick skillet on medium high with a drizzle of oil. Saute asparagus for 3-4 minutes until they begin to lose their crunch. Add sweet bell peppers and sauté for 2 more minutes.
Add chicken and stir fry for 3-4 minutes, until it is no longer pink. Ad mushrooms and stir fry 2-3 minutes until they are warmed.
Toss in tomatoes and seasonings and heat 2-3 more minutes, stirring to coat pasta.
Serve with chopped green onions sprinkled over the top.