LOCAL FLAVOR: Cindy Tillman brings us Penne Pasta with grilled chicken

Carla Brown

We ALL love a great deal! Face it, seeing BOGO can actually send some of us into a buying frenzy! But, what if you didn't have to spend a dime and you still hit the JACKPOT???!!!!

That is EXACTLY the life-changing experience CINDY TILLMAN had, and as this week's LOCAL FLAVOR guest, she will share with us "the rest of the story."

Here is Cindy's account:

"Karen Harrison, who is a longtime friend, took it upon herself to insist I meet this guy named, Joe Tillman. Only because she would not take "no" for an answer, I agreed to go on a blind date with a guy I never met or even knew what he looked like. To her surprise and mine, I married the guy. She called me not long after we were married to tell me she had a recipe I had to cook for my new husband. She laughed and said, “Girl, this is going to impress your man.” I did as my friend requested and cooked it for “my man” and he loved it. It remains one of Joe’s favorites. Since then, it has become a family favorite, especially with my niece and nephews. Year after year, it is frequently requested by my family for their birthday dinners. It’s easy and so good. The last time I made this pasta was for my niece and her college friends when they came to spend the weekend at the lake. When you have a house full of girls, you must have pasta night. Let me tell you it was a crowd pleaser. Serve with a great salad and hot garlic bread and I promise you will be asked to make it over and over. The most important hint I can give about this recipe is serve it immediately. It is not one you can let set for a while before serving. Enjoy!"

Penne Pasta with grilled chicken


2 to 3 cups of Grilled or roasted chicken

Penne pasta

3 Sticks of Land O Lakes salted butter

1/2 teaspoon Red pepper flakes (if you like yours with more heat, add another 1/2 tsp)

1 Tbsp minced garlic (if you like more garlic in your pasta, by all means add more)

2 cups Asparagus (cut into 2-inch pieces)

2 cups grated parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Prepare chicken to your liking. I prefer grilled chicken but you can use roasted or rotisserie chicken. Once the chicken is cooked, shred or slice it and set aside. You will need about 2 to 3 cups of chicken.

Boil the pasta and don't forget to add a little olive oil and salt while boiling.

When pasta is close to being done, melt 3 sticks of butter, add minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for several minutes, then add your asparagus and cook until tender.

When pasta is ready, drain and place in a large shallow pasta bowl. Add the chicken, then pour the butter with garlic and asparagus over the top of pasta. Gently toss until pasta is well-coated. Add 2 cups of grated parmesan cheese and gently toss again. If you feel it needs a little more salt and cracked pepper, add before serving. This dish needs to be served immediately while hot and freshly tossed.

So, GENTLE READERS, how is that for a little LOCAL FLAVOR??!!!