This asparagus and chicken pasta sauce has a fiery kick that really makes it stand out.
With the tomatoes, garlic, chilli and pancetta, it starts like an arrabiata sauce. Arrabiata means 'angry' in Italian, and if you like yours really furious, you can add more chilli or chilli powder. However, for a springtime seasonal twist, this version also has sliced chicken and asparagus. Make it between April and June, when British asparagus is in season, for the best flavour. This speedy sauce is simple and lightly cooked. Once you have slices the onion, chicken and asparagus, you only need 15 minutes to cook it - only a couple of minutes longer than it takes to cook the spaghetti. It's one of our quickest healthy pasta recipes. (opens in new tab)
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- 4-5 chicken thighs, cut into 6 pieces
- 100g smoked pancetta or bacon, cubed
- 3-4 shallots, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 green chilli, finely chopped or 1 tsp chilli powder to taste
- 1 tbsp rosemary, very finely chopped
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp sugar
- 300g dried spaghetti
- 50g Parmesan cheese, grated
- Trim the ends of the asparagus then chop the spears into 4-5 pieces.
- Fry the chicken for 5-6 minutes in a hot pan with some oil then add the pancetta, shallots, garlic, chilli and rosemary and cook over a medium heat for a further 3-4 minutes.
- Add the asparagus and chopped tomatoes then simmer for another 3-4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and sugar.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta to the packets instructions in boiling salted water, drain then add to the sauce, grate over some Parmesan cheese before serving.
Top tip for asparagus and chicken pasta
We've used spaghetti here, but you can use whatever type of dried pasta you want. It's best not to use fresh pasta, which goes better with creamy-based sauces.
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