We love when spring and summer roll around and we can cook with fresh produce. Seasonal. Local. Yum.

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This is hands-down one of the top dishes we look forward to making come spring and summer. It is fresh, light and the perfect combination of ingredients. My husband requests this dish more then any other that I make. And for busy lives, this comes together in the amount of time it takes the pasta water to boil and cook the pasta. Perfect!

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There is the creaminess from the dressing, the fresh snap from the asparagus, the satisfaction of pasta {mmm…pasta!}.

IMG_9057 And to my vegetarian friends out there, omit the chicken, add 2 cups of another vegetable like zucchini or bell peppers in the pan when the asparagus is saut̩ing Рand this dish is equally as scrumptious.

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CAESAR ORZO

 

2 Tb. + 1 Tb. olive oil

14 oz. chicken breast or thighs, cut into small pieces

2 cups asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

16 oz. orzo pasta

1 cup Caesar dressing

Kosher salt

 

In large pot, bring water to a boil.

In a large skillet, heat 2 Tb. olive oil over med-high heat. Add chicken, sprinkle with a little salt and cook for about 10 minutes or until just cooked through.

Meanwhile, when water comes to a boil, cook orzo according to package instructions. Do not drain when completely cooked.

When chicken is done, remove from pan and set aside. Add last 1 Tb. of olive oil to same skillet over med-low heat, add asparagus, sprinkle with a little more salt and sauté about 10 minutes until crisp tender.

*Do not add any pepper during cooking because most Caesar dressings have a lot of pepper already in them.

Add chicken back to pan with asparagus. Then without draining orzo, scoop it out of water with a hand held mesh strainer and put directly into pan with asparagus mix. The little bit of pasta water from not draining it fully allows for a better sauce.

Stir Caesar dressing into asparagus mix, heat through and at this time taste to see if it needs additional salt or pepper. Serve immediately.

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