This lovely pasta recipe reminds us that spring is just around the corner, when local asparagus becomes available. For the freshest flavor, choose a simple tomato sauce–one flavored with onion and garlic and not too much else. If you prefer a nondairy dish, replace the half-and-half with soy milk.
MEAL PLAN: Serve with crusty Italian or French bread to mop up the sauce. Also make a simple salad, pairing a mild lettuce with a spicy green like arugula.
- 8 oz. penne or ziti
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 cups prepared tomato sauce
- 2/3 cup half-and-half or plain soy milk
- 2 lbs. thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta; stir to prevent sticking. Cook pasta until just tender according to package directions, about 10 minutes. Drain well.
- Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 7 minutes.
- Stir in tomato sauce and half-and-half, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Add asparagus and tarragon and reduce heat to low. Partially cover and cook until asparagus are tender and sauce is slightly thickened, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Add pasta to asparagus mixture along with salt and pepper. Toss until well coated. Serve hot.
- Serving Size: 4 servings
- Calories: 255
- Carbohydrate Content: 38 g
- Cholesterol Content: 15 mg
- Fat Content: 9 g
- Fiber Content: 7 g
- Protein Content: 11 g
- Saturated Fat Content: 4 g
- Sodium Content: 30 mg