Creamy Sauce Spinach Asparagus Mushroom Linguine

Inspiration: http://www.shutterbean.com/2010/mushroom-spinach-asparagus-pasta/

Makes 8 servings

16 oz linguine
1/4 lbs (3-4 slices) regular-cut bacon (crisped & diced)
1/2 lbs asparagus (chopped)
1 lbs mushrooms (chopped)
1 cup white onion (diced)
2 clove garlic (minced)
2 tbs olive oil (as needed)
4 cups baby spinach (small leaves)
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
(optional) white wine


Boil large pot of water for linguine. Cook linguine until soft.

While linguine is boiling, in a large sauté pan, cook bacon until crisp.

Remove bacon and set aside; crumble/chop it when it’s cool.

Add garlic, asparagus, mushrooms and onion to pan with bacon drippings.

Sauté until asparagus is softened. Add a dash of white wine to deglaze and/or a small amount of water to keep moist.

Add cream cheese and milk, stir and cook until cream cheese melts and everything is well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add spinach and cook and stir until it wilts.

Add crumbled bacon on top.

Drain linguine and serve cream sauce on top.

Chicken Puff Pastry With Asparagus

Number of people: 5
Time from start to finish: 1.5 hours

Menu:
Chicken Puff Pastry
Asparagus

1 Rotisserie chicken, about 2 cups deboned
1 8 oz container of cream cheese (room temperature)
2 stalks of celery
1 small white onion
2 sheets of puff pastry
1 egg white
2 tbsp butter
2 pounds asparagus

Lay out 2 sheets of puff pastry to defrost on a lightly floured cookie sheet or counter (takes about 40 minutes). Diced celery and onions, then sauté in a small skillet with the butter until the celery is soft. Debone the chicken (you could also use leftover chicken, or fried chicken) and cut into bite size pieces.

Heat oven to 400⁰ F. In a medium sized bowl, mix the chicken, cream cheese, softened onions and celery until well incorporated. Unroll and stretch out 1 sheet of puff pastry on a cookie sheet that has be lightly sprayed with non-stick spray until the pastry covers most of the pan. Starting in the middle, place the chicken mixture on top of the puff pastry sheet and, with a spoon, spread out the mixture until the chicken covers all but about 1/2 inch of the sheet.

Place the second sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface (I used a second cookie sheet) and stretch or roll it to almost the same size as the first sheet. Once stretched, place the second sheet on top of the first sheet and chicken mixture. With a pastry brush, use the egg whites to lightly moisten the edges of the puff pastry. Once all the edges have been moistened, crimp and fold the edges up so that the pastry makes a sealed pocket (it will look like a pillow). You can use a fork around the sides to help the pastry join together like you would with a pie crust. Brush the top of puff pastry lightly with the egg whites. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the puff pastry is golden brown.

For the asparagus, I cut off about an inch off the bottom to remove the woody/dry part. I then steamed the asparagus in a large skillet with about an inch of salted boiling water for about 10 minutes or until desired tenderness and added 2 tbsp. of butter.