The herbaceous nature of asparagus makes it among the more challenging foods to pair with wine.
Even white asparagus (the result of applying a blanching technique while the asparagus shoots are growing), which is extremely popular in parts of Europe, presents a paring challenge despite its not-quite-as-bitter flavor profile.
The best food and wine pairings require some similarities between the food and wine. Because it often exhibits an herbaceous quality of its own, Sauvignon Blanc — the featured varietal in today’s Cyber Circle sampler— has proved to be a reliable pairing partner for asparagus.
Try Sauvignon Blanc with this dish, and see how the herbal character of the wine complements the assertive flavor of the asparagus.
This recipe yields 8 servings.
PENNE PASTA WITH CHICKEN AND ASPARAGUS
- 1 (16-oz.) package dried penne pasta
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into cubes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Garlic powder to taste
- ½-cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 bunch slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- ¼-cup Parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente (about 8 to 10 minutes). Drain, and set aside.
- Warm 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in chicken, and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Cook until chicken is cooked through and browned (about 5 minutes). Remove chicken to paper towels.
- Pour chicken broth into the skillet. Then stir in asparagus, garlic, and a pinch more garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Cover, and steam until asparagus is just tender (about 5 to 10 minutes). Return chicken to skillet, and warm through.
- Stir chicken mixture into pasta, and mix well. Let sit about 5 minutes.
- Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, stir again, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
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Tomorrow: Another Sauvignon Blanc-friendly recipe — to help you finish off the bottle!