Photo Credit: cookingclassy.com

Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta


Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded with mallet to even thickness
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper, plus more for sauce
  • 12 oz penne pasta
  • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed of ends, remaining diced into 2-inch pieces and steamed
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 3/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 1/4 cup cream or half and half
  • 3 oz Neufchatel cheese (aka light cream cheese), diced into pieces
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • 4 - 5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled into small pieces (optional)