This satisfying pasta dish features the best of Spring’s seasonal vegetables. Fresh asparagus, green peas, parsley and leeks are combined with fettucine noodles in a creamy white sauce resulting in a dinner that is not only delicious, but packed with nutrients as well.
When gathering the fresh produce for this dish, make sure to choose the brightest, greenest vegetables available. The brighter the vegetable, the higher it is in phytonutrients. According to the USDA, phytonutrients are certain organic components of plants which promote human health and protect against disease. Population studies have linked vegetable consumption and foods rich in phytonutrients to reducing the risk of both cancer and heart disease.
Spring Vegetable Pasta with Chicken
- 2/3 cup fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup freshly shelled green peas, or petite frozen peas
- 1 small leek, white part only, sliced into thin rings
- 12 ounces of fettucine
- 1/2 cup Italian Parsley, chopped
- 2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Fill a large pasta pot with water and bring to a boil.
- Melt the butter in a large, deep pan over medium heat.
- Add the leeks to the pan and saute until soft, but not browned, about 2 or 3 minutes.
- Add the asparagus and the peas to the pan and saute until soft, about 3 minutes or longer depending on the firmness of the asparagus.
- Stir in the cream, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer until the sauce becomes thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the fettucine noodles to the boiling water and cook according to package directions.
- Drain the fettucine in a strainer, and reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.
- Add the cooked chicken to the cream sauce and vegetables, stir to combine.
- Add the fettucine to the mixture and toss to combine.
- If sauce is not the right consistency, add a little of the reserved pasta water until desired consistency is reached.
- Sprinkle in the parsley and toss to combine.
This recipe makes about 5 to 6 servings. If needed add salt and pepper to taste. This dish is good paired with a simple salad of mixed greens with a vinaigrette style dressing, and a glass of good white wine.
Prep and cook time for this dish is less than 30 minutes. Quick, easy and delicious, this pasta with the added benefit of heart healthy spring vegetables is a good recipe to have on hand. When spring vegetables are not available, one cup of sun-dried tomatoes can be substituted instead for another variation of this recipe.