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Playing Lighter Side of Italian: Chicken or Fish Piccata and Thin Spaghetti with Asparagus, Green Beans and Peas


  • 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 pound thin green beans, cut in half on an angle
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast cutlets (halve chicken breasts horizontally and pound out to 1/8 inch thickness) or 4 pieces firm, thin, white-fleshed sustainable fish, such as tilapia filets
  • Flour, for dredging
  • A sprinkle poultry seasoning or ground thyme (for chicken) or Old Bay Seasoning (for fish)
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 pound thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 4 Meyer lemons or 3 small organic lemons, divided
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1 cup dry, crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • Torn basil or tarragon, to garnish


Serves: 4




Preheat oven to 200F.



Blanch asparagus tips and green beans in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes then cold shock and drain. Reserve.



Bring a large pot of water to boil for pasta. Place a serving platter in the oven to warm.



Season chicken cutlets or fish filets with salt and pepper and dredge in flour seasoned with poultry seasoning or Old Bay. Heat 2 tablespoons EVOO and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saut chicken or fish until lightly golden on each side, 8 minutes. Transfer to warm platter.



Cook pasta to al dente in salted water.



Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter to the skillet and melt. Add garlic and shallots; saut 2-3 minutes. Slice 1 lemon and add it to the skillet along with the juice of a second. Add capers and stir a minute more; add wine and reduce a minute then add stock and parsley. Simmer to thicken a bit then spoon half the sauce over the chicken or fish and cover with foil. Add peas to remaining sauce, the juice of remaining lemon, asparagus and beans, and drained pasta. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.



Serve cutlets with vegetable and lemon pasta alongside, garnished with a few leaves of basil or tarragon.