Pasta with Asparagus

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In season asparagus are here and now is definitely the time to enjoy them in every way possible.

Last week roasted asparagus and mushrooms made a delicious side dish. This week some left over asparagus and rice from two totally different dinners came together into a frittata for a delicious, light lunch.

Boiled until tender crisp and served with a lemon, olive oil and black pepper dressing is a simple but most refreshing way to enjoy asparagus as well.

Pasta and asparagus make a good combination and I recently came across a recipe that seemed a little more interesting than the one I’ve used for years. Of course there’s always room for a better recipe so I just had to give it a try.

The olive oil, butter, garlic and heat from the pepper flakes deliciously bring out the best in the pasta, asparagus combination. The cheese does what it always does…makes everything even better!

This new recipe will certainly replace the former one from now on…or until I find a better recipe of course!

Pasta with Asparagus

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

3 to 4 cloves garlic minced

1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

1 pound fresh asparagus cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces

salt and pepper to taste

8 ounces penne pasta cooked and drained

1/4 cup grated Parmiggiano cheese

  1. Heat oil and butter over medium heat in a 12 inch skillet.
  2. Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add asparagus, salt and pepper and cook until tender-crisp, about 4 to 8 minutes depending on the size of asparagus spears.
  4. Pour drained pasta into asparagus, add cheese and toss to coat pasta well.
  5. Serve at once.

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Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  • When buying asparagus choose spears that are tightly closed at the tips and have firm stalks.
  • If not using the asparagus within a day or so place inside a container filled with a couple of inches of water in the refrigerator to keep fresh.
  • Remove tough lower part by bending asparagus spear and letting it naturally break off leaving the tender part.
  • After cutting into pieces soak in a bowl of cold water to remove any sand then scoop spears out of the water and drain well.
  • Before draining the pasta reserve about half cup of cooking water in case it’s needed to give the pasta a little extra moisture.
  • Try replacing the penne pasta with linguini, a great alternative.

 

 

 

 

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