Foodie Friday ~ Lemon Garlic Caprese Pasta Salad

pasta with asparagus

1 pound mezze (short) penne pasta

1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into thirds

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons lemon juice, or more to taste

1/2 large shallot, minced

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 large grilled chicken breast, sliced thinly and halved (optional)

1 roma (plum) tomato, diced

8 leaves fresh basil, torn

Directions

Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Stir in penne and return to a boil. Cook pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but still firm to the bite, about 11 minutes; drain.

Place asparagus into a saucepan, add a little water, and place over medium heat; cover pan and let asparagus steam until bright green and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain.

Heat olive oil with butter and lemon juice in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until butter melts; cook and stir shallot in hot oil and butter mixture until it just begins to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir garlic into shallot mixture and cook until shallot and garlic are opaque, 3 more minutes. Stir asparagus and chicken into mixture; cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Toss pasta with chicken and vegetables to combine; mix tomato and basil into salad and serve warm.

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