Strange combination is love at first bite

This next recipe is derived from a menu item from a restaurant that’s mostly about cheesecake. Without stating the name, I’ll give you a couple more clues and you can piece it together from there.

The restaurant has an extensive menu with a large variety of options, and the second word of the establishment’s title is, ‘factory.’

Now whether you figure that out is completely up to you and your restaurant knowledge.

My first time at this restaurant was actually one of the first dates that my husband and I went on, and this was the first dish that I tried there.

That may have something to do with why it’s one of my favorites.

I can recall being very skeptical of the various ingredients that had been paired together in this pasta, curious about how they would incorporate them.

Asparagus, peas, and chipotle? Something there seemed very strange to me, but also intriguing.

Long story short, it was love at first bite.

This led to another problem, because with such a large menu, but also a dish that you already know you greatly enjoy, how in the world do you decide what (and if) to try next?

Next I started to try and make it at home, until I stumbled across this recipe, which hit the nail on the head.

Does the restaurant make it better?

I personally think everything tastes better when someone else cooked it for you, and then cleans the table and dishes afterwards.

However, in those times when you just need to eat at home, but need something a bit more special, this is a great option.

This tastes almost exactly like the real thing, especially when you end the meal with cheesecake.

Is this quicker? Definitely not, unless you are also counting the drive to the restaurant from Fredonia.

Although I could continue talking about this pasta for a good while longer, I’ll leave you with the recipe and let you decide for yourself.

As always, thanks for reading, and happy cooking from hbk!

Chipotle Chicken Pasta

INGREDIENTS

2 boneless skinless chicken breast, tenderized and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 pound penne pasta

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper

2 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/4 cup honey

2 Tbsp. chipotle pepper sauce from canned adobo peppers

1 yellow bell pepper chopped

1 red bell pepper chopped

1/2 yellow onion chopped

3 cloves garlic minced

2 C. heavy cream

1 C. frozen peas

1 pound fresh asparagus, the thinner the better

6 ounces shredded parmesan cheese

cilantro and tortilla chip strips for garnish, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Set your water to boil for pasta in a large pot.

2. Add the asparagus to the pasta water and boil for 2-3 minutes or until tender crisp.

3. Shock the asparagus with cold water through a colander.

4. Cook pasta for one minute less than the package instructions, then drain into the same colander as asparagus. Don’t rinse.

5. After cutting the chicken, place into a bowl, adding the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir together and let sit while you cook the rest of the dish.

6. Place butter in a large skillet and melt over medium heat.

7. Add the bell peppers and onions and cook until just translucent.

8. Add in the garlic and cook an extra minute.

9. Remove the vegetables from skillet and add in the olive oil.

10. Add the chicken to the pan and turn the heat up to medium-high, brown chicken on both sides.

11. Brown the chicken on both sides. Add in the honey and stir, cooking an additional 5 seconds.?

12. Add the bell pepper mixture back to the pan with the chicken, stirring together well.

13. Stir well, then add in the adobo sauce, heavy cream and Parmesan cheese.

14. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly, then add in the pasta, asparagus and frozen green peas.?

15. Stir to coat everything and serve with any garnishes you’d like such as tortilla strip chips and cilantro.

Makes 6 generous portions.

Katy Wise is a Fredonia resident.

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