Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What’s Cookin’ Wednesday: Spinach Asparagus Pasta

This was actually our meal last night, and not tonight, but close enough, right?  Even with a sick baby I managed to throw this one together, so that tells you how easy it is.  Plus, it’s pretty healthy (especially when you have to leave the cheese out of it!) and husband-approved. Smile  Enjoy!


Penne with Asparagus, Spinach, and Bacon

Cooking Light
Penne with Asparagus, Spinach, and Bacon
Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
This pasta toss comes together in a snap on busy weeknights. Complement it with a glass of white wine, such as sauvignon blanc, and garlic-Parmesan breadsticks.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups pasta mixture and 1 tablespoon cheese)


  • 8  ounces  uncooked penne pasta
  • 2  bacon slices
  • 2 1/2  cups  (1-inch) slices asparagus (about 1 pound)
  • 1 1/2  cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 4  cups  bagged baby spinach leaves
  • (for those of you lucky kids who can have dairy)  1/2  cup  (2 ounces) pre-shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • **2 chicken breasts
**I added the chicken breasts this time to make it a little “heartier” for Matt and to stretch the recipe a bit so we’d have more leftovers.  I simply boiled the chicken, then shredded it and tossed it in at the end.  I also used the water that I boiled the chicken in to cook the pasta, which gives it a little extra flavor. 


Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; keep warm.
Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble.  Add asparagus and broth to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Add pasta, spinach, 1/4 cup cheese, and pepper to pan; toss well. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and bacon.

Nutritional Information

363 (25% from fat)
10.2g (sat 4.2g,mono 3.6g,poly 0.8g)

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