Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Penne with Asparagus and Tomatoes

First Recipe of Pasta Week! It was far different from most pastas I cook. Here in the south we smother everything with, creams, gravys, sauces, and cheese. Literally. If its not fried, its smothered in something. I'm trying to expand my horizons.

I'm not sure how you feel about Giada on the FoodNetwork but other than the fact that her arms are short and I feel like I'm watching a pretty little Tyranasaurus Rex (and I don't mean that to be mean in anyway, I have a lot of respect for her), the girl can cook up some pasta! So I have taken note of a few of her pasta dishes that incorporate veggies and barely any "sauce" to speak of other than some light broth and olive oil. So I'm kicking up our pasta palatte with the help of inspiration by Giada and so far, SO GOOD!

Unlike my love affair with all things spaghetti, I don't think I'll be making this dish once a week, but once a month? Yea, I can see that! Especially in the spring when asparagus is fresh! Definately worth a try and I felt NO GUILT eating it, AT ALL.

*Pictures coming this weekend*

Penne with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes
Ingredients:
8 ounces penne pasta
3 tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch thin asparagus (about 1 1/2 lbs), tough ends trimmed
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cherry tomatoes (my cherry tomatoes had mold on them -1 DAY after buying them, stupid Aldi's- so I used two roma's diced from the farmer's market)
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup grated moneterey jack cheese (My addition)
1 cup diced roasted chicken breast (my addition)

(Giada calls for parmesan and fresh basil but I didn't do this).

Directions:
Boil pasta in salted water till Just Tender.

Saute over medium-high heat the garlic in the oil for about 1 minute. Add asparagus and season with salt and pepper. Cook about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and peas and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and simmer about 3-5 minutes.

Add the chicken just to heat it up. (1 minute). Combine drained pasta, vegetables and cheese in a large bowl and toss well. Serve hot.

Simple, tasty and pretty healthy.

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