SPRING PASTA

Proving that there’s no such thing as too many recipes using asparagus, here is one more: a very tasty and healthy pasta dish to celebrate Spring, even if the season is already waving goodbye.  However, here in L.A. the warm weather is dragging its feet, temperatures barely hit the mid 70′s, and I still have to resort to long sleeves shirts.  It’s preposterous!

I got this recipe from a new food blog: Inspired Edibles, hosted by Kelly, where you’ll also find all sorts of articles related to nutrition and fitness, two topics I’m quite fond of.   Kelly got the recipe from  from Ellie Krieger, cookbook author and Food TV host. I made just a few changes to accommodate what I had around the kitchen.

SPRING PASTA
(adapted from this post in Inspired Edibles)

whole-wheat spaghetti (or pasta of your choice)
1 bunch of asparagus
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
3 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chicken stock (or water)
fresh parsley, chopped
Iberico cheese, grated (or Parmiggiano Reggiano)

Heat oven to 375 F.   Cut the tough stems off the asparagus and discard.  Cut the stems in half, and unless the stems are very thin, slice the lower half in half lengthwise.  Place them in a baking dish, coat lightly with 1 Tbsp olive oil, sprinkle salt, and bake for 12-15 minutes, until barely soft.

Start cooking the pasta according to the package instructions. Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbs olive oil on a large non-stick skillet and saute the garlic and the sun dried tomatoes for a couple of minutes, until the garlic is fragrant and the tomatoes start to soften up.  Season with a little salt and pepper. If the pasta is not cooked yet, reserve the sauteed mixture over very low heat.   Once the pasta is cooked, add it to the skillet together with the chicken stock, reserved asparagus, 3/4 of the walnuts, parsley and grated cheese.  Mix well, and warm it all together in medium-high heat for a couple of minutes.

Serve with the remaining walnuts and additional grated cheese on top.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  The more I eat whole-wheat pasta the more I like it. Barilla is my top choice, but this time I used a Trader Joe’s alternative and found that its beautiful brownish color faded quite a bit upon cooking.  Not quite sure why that would happen, but it tasted fine, maybe a little less “toothsome” than Barilla.

Surprisingly,  there was no Parmiggiano in our home, so I used Iberico, a delicious Spanish cheese, similar to Manchego.  Since it’s not a hard, grating type cheese, it melted almost instantaneously in contact with the pasta.  Nothing wrong with that, actually, we loved it!  But it is a bit messy to grate, next time I’ll stick with the classic Parmiggiano.

Kelly, thanks so much for the inspiration,  you obviously picked a perfect name for your blog!   ;-)

ONE YEAR AGO:  Ice cream melts for mango

 

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