Penne with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting with Mom, Granny, and Glenda. Whenever Granny comes to town there's probably going to be a goody basket! The goodies can include anything from candy, baked goods, newspaper clippings, and fresh vegetables. This time she brought us some fresh strawberries (which we just sliced and ate, no fun blog post there) and some fresh asparagus! Here's the fun blog post for what we did with the asparagus...

Patrick was in charge of dinner this night with one command: use the asparagus! He followed through with the help of trusty Giada! Can't go wrong with one of her dishes. Visit the Food Network website for more details and to read the comments (they're always fun) but the recipe is here for your convenience. 

Penne with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes 
  8 ounces penne pasta 
  3 tablespoons olive oil
  2 garlic cloves, minced 
  1 1/2 pounds thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces 
  Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  2 cups (about 9 ounces) cherry tomatoes 
  1 cup shelled fresh peas (we used frozen)
  1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock 
  1 cup grated Parmesan 
  2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the asparagus, season with the salt and pepper, and cook for 3 minutes until slightly soft. Add the cherry tomatoes and peas. Cook for 2 minutes. Pour the chicken stock into the pan and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook until the tomatoes start to burst and the stock is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. (This step took us a little longer, those tomatoes just did not want to burst.)
Transfer the asparagus mixture to a large serving bowl. Add the cooked pasta and 1/2 of the Parmesan. Toss well, adding reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Garnish with the remaining Parmesan and chopped basil.

Don't like asparagus or cherry tomatoes? This dish is very similar to another veggie pasta dish we've made before. I dubbed it the Easiest Pasta Dish Ever and it features squash and peas. 

1 comment:

  1. This sounds and looks absolutely delicious! Will try soon.