Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Quick & Easy Pasta with Asparagus & Grape Tomatoes

Sometimes, when I'm doing my thing cooking--combining this and that--it comes out really good.

I think this is one of those dishes!

Using a rotisserie chicken makes it quick and easy, and the price--$4.99 at Costco--is about the same for one in the fryer pack, so you're saving time and money!

The asparagus and grape tomatoes give the pasta dish a really fresh taste!

Here's what I used, and it will make enough to dress two pounds of pasta.

Quantities and printable recipe are at the end of this post.

I used the whole bag of asparagus from Costco, washed them and snapped off the tough ends.

I saved the ends.

Maybe I'll make cream of asparagus soup...or something.

I made the first cut at the tip, then rolled them a quarter turn and made another slice, down the whole stem.

I used the boiling water for pasta to blanch the asparagus for a minute or so, until they turned bright green.

I removed all the asparagus, put them in a bowl, and set aside.

Bring the water back up to a boil and add the pasta.

I'm using spaghetti.

Next, take the rotisserie chicken and take the meat off the bones.

I just used the legs, thighs and breasts.

The rotisserie chicken is really tender, so it's easy to separate the meat and bones.

I'm going to make chicken soup with the bones.

Cover the chicken so it doesn't dry out, and set aside.

Chop 4 cloves of garlic.

Chop one onion.

Saute the garlic and onions in 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Make sure your pan is hot, then add the olive oil, garlic and onions.

And about a 1/2 teaspoon of chili flakes.

This is 3 cups of grape tomatoes.

I thought I maybe should have cut them in half, but I liked them whole as I was eating the pasta.

While stirring, I thought...


Capers would be good in here!

While looking for the capers, I found pesto and thought the same thing...

Pesto sauce!

That would make it really good!

As soon as the noodles are done, drain them and put them into a large bowl.

I added half of the tomato mixture.

While tossing, I thought it could use another scoop of pesto sauce.

I added half of the blanched asparagus and shredded chicken.

Have a closer look...

It's looking good!

Toss gently to combine.

Taste it.

I added a pinch more chili flakes and a little salt and pepper.

This dish turned out fast, simple and tasty!

This batch went to my sister-in-law with the newborn.

Then I boiled another pound of spaghetti and made another one for us!



Yesterday, I got a surprise package in the mail.

My friend Carol was returning a shirt, and decided to fill the box with goodies!

Carol and I love umeboshi.

When we went to Japan together several years ago, we were fascinated with all things umeboshi there.

It's nice to have a friend that shares a passion.

She also sent a package of ginger candy.

I love ginger candy too.

But not as much as I love ume.

I really like these, too.

But my favorites are the dried kaki--persimmons--that Carol makes.

The bag on the left is dried fuyu persimmons, and the one on the right is dried hachiya persimmons.

Every year, Carol works so hard to pick and dry persimmons.

It's one of her passions.

I immediately had to eat one of the dried hachiya.

The white on the outside is the sugar from the persimmons.

They are so yummy!

Thank you, Carol!

I appreciate your thoughtfulness and all the delightful treats!


Quick and Easy Pasta with Asparagus & Grape Tomatoes

This recipe will dress two pounds of pasta.


1 rotisserie chicken
2 lb. pasta--any kind

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 2.25 lb package asparagus
3 cups grape tomatoes

1 generous tablespoon capers
3 generous tablespoons jarred pesto sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil for the noodles. Wash and snap off the tough ends of the asparagus and cut them into bite-sized pieces. When the water boils, blanch the asparagus for about 1 minute, remove from water and drain. Set aside. Reboil water and add the noodles.

Saute onions and garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil until onions are wilted. Add the grape tomatoes and saute until tomatoes begin to wilt. Add 1 tablespoon capers and 3 tablespoons jarred pesto sauce.

When the noodles are done, drain and put into a large bowl. Add half of the tomato mixture, asparagus and chicken--or all if you're cooking 2 lbs. of noodles. Toss gently. Taste and adjust flavors, salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Yummy everything!! ... maybe not too much for.... umeboshi? Maybe I need to try it again?

  2. Yum, this is my kinda pasta it looks great. Oooh was that like an ume pocky? So jealous! I made my mom bring me back some ume salt when she went to japan and I'm trying to be creative and think of things to have it with. So far i've just used it on veggies and popcorn. Ideas?

  3. @Susan
    Susan, the next time we get together I'm going to bring you one of my good umeboshi for you to try!

    @Lindselicious-It's more like an ume pretzel, yes--it says pretzel on the inside of the package. Pretty good, mild ume flavor. I haven't had ume salt! Have you made plain salted cucumbers with it or sprinkled a little on hot tonkatsu yet? :)

  4. Looks delicious! It's fun when something you've put together on the fly ends up being really good.

  5. I had to post when I saw the kaki! My Bachan and Jichan made bags and bags of these for friends and family! I could never quite buy into the whole ones but I enjoyed the sliced dehydrated version. Being a Hapa I love reading your blog, it reminds me of so many things I grew up around. Thank you so much for sharing, you are a wonderful cook and writer!!!

    PS. I found your blog via fb, I went to school with Rick & Karen @ P-dine.

  6. @thingsfromscratchThank you! That's part of what makes cooking fun for me, too! :)

  7. Karolyn - you have come to the rescue again! We just happened to have all the needed ingredients and voila -- we had another delicious dinner thanks to Foodjimoto.com! :)

  8. This is a fantastic recipe. I didn't have grape tomatoes so used up some of what I had in the fridge. I only made 1/2 of it and it still is a lot. Just for the fun of it I deglazed and redused the fry pan with a bit of wine to get all the onion and garlic, then poured it in the pasta. It is so good I had 3rd's. This is one we will keep. Thank you for sharing.

  9. This was incredible! A restaurant quality taste. Thank you!