Fusilli Primavera with Chicken
Return the fusilli and asparagus to the pot. Add heated sauce, mushrooms, chicken, reserved prosciutto and tomatoes. Stir and add a sprinkle of Parmesan. Add fresh basil as desired.
My mom, known as ‘Grandma Jan’ got this recipe from her neighbor while living in Naples, Italy…if you read the Bolognese recipe, you’ll know! The thing about this one is the intense flavor…it sings from an addition of cut up prosciutto in the luscious Alfredo sauce that coats the fusilli and makes every bite memorable. The combination of cooked mushrooms, crisp asparagus, juicy chicken and just warmed through cherry tomatoes is just so good! Be sure to sprinkle with a little crushed red chili pepper and shredded Parmesan as you eat it…you will be glad you did!
1 box Italian Fusilli (dry, not fresh). Use Rummo brand pasta if you can get it.
2 lbs boneless chicken breasts
1 bunch fresh asparagus, ends removed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 box white mushrooms, quartered
1 box colorful cherry tomatoes (or red, whatever you have), cut in half
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup dry white wine
10 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
2 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 cup shredded Parmesan or Pecorino Romano/Parmesan mix
1/2 lb prosciutto, divided
fresh basil for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
How to Make It
First Step: Prepare the Sauce
Cut up 1/4 lb of the prosciutto into little bite size pieces
In a medium size pot, heat about 1/2 cup of olive oil
Add chopped garlic, chopped prosciutto, dry basil & oregano and sauté until the garlic begins to turn opaque. This sells amazing…stop for a moment to enjoy!
Add white wine and stir. Let the wine reduce by just over half, then add the heavy cream.
Add 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan and stir often. Add salt & pepper to taste, but careful, the prosciutto is salty.
Set sauce aside
Second Step: Prepare the Veggies & Chicken
Heat a medium size skillet to medium and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle chicken breast with a little salt and pepper. Add the chicken breast and sear for 5 min. Turn over and cook 5 min more. Depending on the thickness of the chicken you are using, you may need to pop it in the oven for 5-7 min to complete cooking. You want it just cooked through, not dry. Once the chicken has cooled a bit, cut into bite sized pieces. Do not cut when it is hot or all the juices will run out and it will get chewy. Set aside.
Heat a skillet with about 1/4 cup of olive oil. When the oil is hot add the sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt and pepper. Let the mushrooms cook, undisturbed 3-4 min, then stir. When the liquid from the mushrooms has released, then evaporated, the mushrooms are done. Set aside.
Third Step: Boil the Pasta & Assemble
Heat a pot of salted water and boil pasta for 2 minutes less than the time noted on the box. Add cut raw asparagus to the pasta and water and cook just 2 minutes. Drain in a colander.
Return the fusilli and asparagus to the pot. Add heated sauce, mushrooms, chicken, reserved prosciutto and tomatoes. Stir and add a sprinkle of Parmesan. Add fresh basil as desired. Heat through 3-4 min…this will finish the pasta cooking process and infuse the pasta with the flavors of the sauce.
Serve immediately with extra shredded cheese, fresh basil (if desired) and dried red chili flakes.
Bon Appétit, Enjoy, Provecho!