Saturday, November 17, 2012

Chicken Marinara, Spinach Linguine, and Roasted Asparagus

Use your favorite spaghetti sauce to create an EASY baked chicken dish, add your favorite pasta, and try this Re-DIQUE-ulously De-LISH-ious roasted asparagus! (Even my kids, who like the canned stuff dipped in mayo liked it!)  (A few pieces were sampled before the pic was taken.)

Baked Chicken

  • Chicken pieces, about 8 thighs or breasts, skinless
  • Jar of spaghetti sauce*
  • Seasonings to taste 

Purchase or prepare skinless thighs or breasts, as you prefer -- if the pieces are very large, divide them so the sauce can permeate more easily. Simply rinse and place the chicken pieces in a casserole dish, cover with a jar of marinara or any flavor of spaghetti sauce, add extras of whatever you like -- garlic, Italian herbs, rosemary, basil -- and bake in 400 deg F oven for 45 minutes.  What could be easier?

*I have found that a very light marinara sauce gives less flavor than a full-on spaghetti sauce. I've also tried this with 3-cheese spaghetti sauce, and it was very good. Parmesan or Romano cheese at the table is a must for this dish.

Roasted Asparagus
  • Fresh asparagus, 1 bunch
  • 2 T olive oil or other (I like avocado oil)
  • 1 T fresh garlic from the jar (or mince your own)
  • 1 or 2 T Parmesan and/or Romano cheese
  • A few shakes of sea salt, pepper
  • Lemon juice from one lemon

After the chicken goes into the oven, wash the asparagus, and cut about 2 inches from the ends. Place on a (foiled-covered) tray, drizzle oil, sprinkle cheese, and shake seasonings (not lemon juice) over them and toss to coat thoroughly. Lay the pieces out in a single layer.

Bake for about 10 minutes in a 400 deg F oven -- check for roasted appearance and possibly cook another couple of minutes.

Squeeze fresh lemon juice over them for a tasty symphony of flavors.

Spinach Linguine
  • Spinach linguine or other pasta, 4 to 6 servings
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Water 

During the last 10 minutes that the chicken is baking, prepare pasta according to the package.  This one was a really nice 3-minute pasta with a light flavor that complemented the chicken dish well, but any pasta works, even reg'ol' spaghetti!

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