Fall is in full swing, the air is feeling crisp and the nights are getting chilly, even here in southern California. This indulgent pasta is one of our favorite cold-weather dishes and it’s easy to tackle, making it a perfect weeknight meal. The mushrooms and cream add warmth and richness to the sauce while the asparagus and lemon juice and zest add some brightness.
We suggest cooking the pasta and asparagus al dente since both will continue to cook slightly when mixed with the sauce. Top with parmesan cheese, fresh parsley and red chili flakes.
½ pound dried pasta
½ pound asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 4 thighs), cut into 1 inch pieces
8 oz. mushrooms
½ tsp. fine sea salt, plus more to taste
Fresh ground black pepper
½ tsp. dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup dry sherry
1 ½ cups chicken stock
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
⅓ cup cream cheese
Chopped fresh parsley, parmesan and red chili flakes for garnish
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Add the chopped asparagus at the last 3 minutes of cooking time. Strain the noodles and asparagus, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and saute until cooked all the way through, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
In the same skillet, add the mushrooms and season with a pinch of salt and oregano. Cook the mushrooms over medium heat until they begin to soften and brown on the edges, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with dry sherry, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Cook for about 2 minutes until most of the sherry has evaporated. Whisk in the chicken stock, lemon juice and zest, heavy cream and parmesan. Cook, whisking often, until the sauce thickens and the cheese has melted and fully incorporated, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Add the drained pasta and chicken back into the skillet with sauce, toss to combine and serve pasta garnished with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese.