When it comes to pasta, Springtime means lighter, crisper dishes. This simple dish gets its appetizing speckled look from a generous sprinkling of pepper. Serve as a stand alone meal or as a side to grilled beef or chicken.
I am suspicious of just about any pasta recipe that doesn’t include garlic. I fall into full crisis mode when I do not have a bulb or two in the house. I cannot say for sure that garlic is as good for repelling vampires as it is for repelling heart disease, but I do know that all of the vampires I’ve invited over have politely excused themselves after a peek inside my kitchen.
Steaming asparagus so easy. And here’s the genius part of it: the stalks are thicker at the bottom and thinner at the top. If you stand them up in the pot like the photo above, the bottoms will cook faster than the tops, so by the time you pull them out they will be evenly cooked. The thicker they are overall, the longer they will take to cook. These are pretty thin, so they only took about 8 to 10 minutes. Don’t leave them on so long that they turn soft and mushy – leave some bite in them.
Once you take them off the heat, cut them up into small pieces. I shouldn’t need to say it, but I will – be careful not to burn yourself. It’s okay to allow them to cool a bit before handling, if you need to, because you’ll be throwing them back onto the heat for 20 or 30 seconds when you’re done chopping. Like so:
Throw the asparagus in the pan along with some salt and a good amount of pepper and then toss it until well coated. If you’re not in the mood for pasta, you can easily stop here and have a tasty, crunchy side dish.
Asparagus is low in calories and full of all kinds of good stuff: iron, calcium, various vitamins. If you’re trying to cut down on the carbs, go with less pasta and more asparagus.
Garlicky, peppery deliciousness.
Peppery Garlic Asparagus Pasta
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
2 cups uncooked rotini pasta
1 bunch of asparagus (about 30 thin stalks)
2 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, cut the hard bottoms of the asparagus stalks off and discard. Fill tall pot with with 1/2 – 1 inch of water of heat over medium heat until lightly simmering. Stand asparagus in pot and allow to steam until cooked but still firm (approximately 8 – 10 minutes for thin stalks; add more time for thicker stalks).
2. As asparagus steams, heat olive oil in large pan over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook until tender but do not allow it to brown.
3. Remove asparagus from heat and chop into bite-size pieces. Add chopped asparagus, salt and pepper to olive oil and garlic and toss to coat. Add pasta and toss again. Serve.