Shrimp, Chicken & Asparagus Cellentani Pasta
in a Lowfat Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce
This is how I lighten up Fettucini Alfredo … except without the fettucini … because I just adore the swirly, curly shape of this cellentani.
This pasta dish is a delicious & elegant meal, a great way to use leftover chicken, and if you take a few minutes to get everything prepped and have the meat pre-cooked, it comes together in about 30 to 45 minutes. Just make the lowfat creamy sauce, sautee some lovely vegetables and throw it all together with the cooked shrimp and chicken.
The chicken breast was one I had marinated in a garlic-buttermilk mixture, then cooked on the grill the other night. Use any leftover chicken … or just skip the chicken and add more shrimp (or vice versa)! The shrimp were just some frozen little shrimps I had in my freezer. Bigger shrimp would of course be more fancy shmancy if you’re serving this to company.
Shrimp, Chicken & Asparagus Cellentani in a Lowfat Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce
Makes 2 to 4 servings, depending on how hefty your eaters are.
- 1 cup dry uncooked cellentani or cavatappi pasta (about 4 oz. … or use another shape … fettucine, linguini, ziti, or penne would all work too …)
- 1 1/4 cups asparagus
- 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 – 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
- 4 oz. shrimp, pre-cooked
- 1 cooked chicken breast, chopped
- for garnish: freshly shredded parmesan, snipped chives and/or green onion and fresh basil leaves
- First, make the garlic cream sauce (see below). You can make the sauce ahead of time to save steps at dinnertime –just keep it in the fridge in a covered container till you’re ready to use it.
- Start the water boiling to cook the pasta. While it’s heating up, chop and prep the vegetables, chicken and herbs and shred the cheese.
- When the water starts to boil, add the cellantani (or whatever pasta you are using).
- Heat a sautee pan over medium heat, spray with cooking spray, and add the asparagus, mushrooms, garlic and rosemary. Sautee just briefly, then add the wine. Sprinkle with Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoning mix–or just salt and pepper.) Cook for about 5 – 7 minutes or until the liquid from the wine and mushrooms has mostly evaporated, the mushrooms are tender and the asparagus is crisp tender.
- By this point, the pasta should be almost done. When it’s done, put it in a colander to drain out the water.
- To the sautee pan, add the sauce, shrimp, chicken, basil and tomato, then pour in the creamy sauce and the pasta. (You may not need all the sauce.) Stir everything together and cook until everything is hot and bubbly.
- Serve immediately, garnished with a bit of shredded parmesan, some basil leaves and snipped green onion and/or chives (I used both). A nice salad and some garlic toast on the side would be marvelous.
Lowfat Garlic Cream Sauce (Alfredo-ish)
- 1/2 Tablespoon butter
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 1 cup low fat or skim milk
- 1/4 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 Tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a skillet or cast iron pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter, then add the chopped garlic and sautee just for a minute or two to cook the garlic. Add the flour and stir to make a paste (or roux). Add the milk, lower the heat to medium, and whisk until the roux is dissolved in the milk and the sauce begins to thicken. Toss in the shredded parmesan, basil and nutmeg and stir, then add salt and pepper to taste.