I love asparagus. Back when my Husband's grandpa was alive we would have dinner at their house quite frequently. He had a garden and grew the best asparagus. In the summer we would have dinners that were mostly vegetables from their garden and they were so delicious. I miss those days. I love spring and summer because everything tastes fresher and it's a little easier to incorporate healthy dishes into the menu. This meal is nice because it has your meat, vegetable and pasta all in one. It is a tasty Asian dish flavored with a spicy peanut sauce and a great crunch from the asparagus. Perfect and light for spring.
Sesame Noodles with Chicken and Asparagus
from Cook's Country
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 12 oz.)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound linguine (or fettuccine or spaghetti)
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 in. pieces
1/3 c. peanut butter
5 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 c. oyster sauce
2 tsp. chili-garlic sauce (this is a reddish looking sauce, almost like a fine salsa )
1 1/2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook chicken until no longer pink, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to plate.
Add pasta to boiling water and cook until just beginning to soften, about 8 minutes (check your pasta directions. Mine said al dente in 8 minutes so I cut this cooking time down to 6 minutes). Add asparagus to pot and cook until bright green and pasta is al dente about 4 minutes. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, drain pasta and asparagus, and return to pot.
Whisk peanut butter, vinegar, oyster sauce, chili-garlic sauce, ginger, sesame oil, and 1/2 cup pasta cooking water in bowl until smooth. Add peanut butter mixture and chicken to pot and toss to combine, adding reserved pasta water as needed. Serve immediately while sauce is still creamy.