Submitted by: Kayleigh
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
With chicken, this is a full meal. It can also be a side dish for steak or fish if you leave the chicken out.
Make pesto: Combine basil, pine nuts, oil, and chopped garlic in a food processor. Blend until paste forms, stopping often to push down basil. Add cheeses and sea salt. Blend until smooth. Transfer to small bowl.
Cook your chicken in another skillet with a bit of oil while these other things are going on. Just make sure there's no pink left to the chicken. Then cut it into bite-sized pieces.
Prepare pasta: Cook pasta per package directions (but don't overcook or the pasta will get mushy). Drain and return to pot. SAVE about 1/2 cup of the pasta water to add to the pasta dish as you combine it all.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat while pasta cooks. Add asparagus (trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces) and freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste. Cook 4 minutes. Add halved cherry tomatoes and cook until asparagus are tender 2-3 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
Add pesto, spinach, and COOKED chicken (if using) and the 1/2 cup of the pasta water to pasta and toss until well-combined. Then add the asparagus/tomato mixture, and heat for a minute or two to blend it all together. If it sounds confusing, basically you're just gonna have it all together at the end to heat and blend the flavors.
Sprinkle with grated or shaved Parmesan. Serve warm, or chill and serve cold.
You could serve this as a side dish if you don't include the chicken. It would be delicious next to a lovely grilled steak.