For this week’s Whip it Up: A New Recipe Challenge, I decided to make something relatively light and healthy. I searched Cooking Light for a recipe. I wanted something with pasta to make up for my lack of pasta last week and something with cheese to try to meet this week’s challenge. I ended up choosing this recipe for Linguine with Parmesan, Asparagus and Bacon.
Despite sounding like a rather rich meal, the recipe ended up at only about 360 calories and 12 grams of fat. Pretty impressive for a dish that contains pasta, cheese and bacon. I did edit the recipe a bit to include chicken and whole wheat pasta which changed the caloric value some, but not in a particularly bad way.
Linguine with Asparagus,
Parmesan and Bacon
Overall, the recipe was tasty. It had a great flavor. I was nervous of it being too bacony and too lemony, but it was not. It had a nice herbed flavor that was not too much of any one flavor. I believe the random one tablespoon of butter could be omitted. I haven’t a clue as to what it’s purpose is. My only complaint with the recipe is that the broth mixture you create and has most of that great flavor, simply lies at the bottom of the bowl. Next time I would cook the linguine a bit less, drain it and add the broth, vegetable, chicken mixture to the pasta and finish cooking the pasta that way. Either that or I would substitute brown rice for the chicken and use the called for broth and additional to cook the rice in the pan with all the other ingredients.
The recipe was relatively simple and not complex at all.
My husband said that he really liked it and that he would enjoy having it again. He didn’t seem to mind the broth issue I had. I think with the edits I mentioned above, I would definitley make it again.
We prefer low sodium bacon. If you do not use low sodium bacon, I would recommend tasting the broth before adding salt later in the recipe. Cutting the bacon in half makes cooking so much easier in the pan. I was nervous about the recipe being too bacony but it ended up just being a nice compliment.
-I used boxed pasta, which requires longer cooking time than fresh – 13 minutes. I felt this would be too long to cook the asparagus, so I threw it in with 7 minutes remaining and it ended up perfect. It felt odd to cook pasta and asparagus in the same pot. But it worked well!
Since I used boxed pasta, I was unsure of the equivalent to fresh pasta. I used my faithful $2 scale that I use for everything from weighing meat to weighing chips, to weigh out an amount that I thought would work well for us.
– I added about one chicken breast chopped up
to make this a fuller meal for us. I added it to the pan after removing the bacon.
Fresh garlic getting squirted into the pan of goodness. Bottled garlic has a funny taste to me, so I use this press all the time.
Linguine with Parmesan, Asparagus and Bacon – Cooking Light
3 cups (1-inch) sliced asparagus (about 1 pound)
1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated linguine (I used 6 oz of regular boxed whole wheat linguine)
4 bacon slices (uncooked) (I used Low Sodium)
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic (BLEH, I do not enjoy bottled garlic, I used two cloves of fresh)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes (Again, bleh. I omitted these altogether)
3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I used bottled)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) preshredded Parmesan cheese
Shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)
Cook asparagus and pasta according to pasta package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; set aside. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp; cool slightly. Remove bacon from the pan, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings in pan. Crumble bacon. Add onion, garlic, and oregano to drippings in the pan; sauté 4 minutes or until onion is lightly browned. Add tomatoes; cook 2 minutes. Add broth; bring to a boil. Stir in butter, salt, and pepper; remove from heat. Place asparagus mixture in a large bowl; add tomato mixture and juice, tossing well. Top with bacon and shredded cheese. Garnish with shaved Parmesan, if desired.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 cups pasta mixture and 2 tablespoons cheese)