Prepare pasta according to package directions; rinse and drain.
Snap off tough ends of asparagus, and cut into 2-inch pieces.
Sauté asparagus in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat 4 minutes. Stir in red bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Stir in salt and pepper.
Toss together pasta, asparagus mixture, basil, 1/2 cup cheese, butter, and 1/2 cup pecans. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and 1/2 cup pecans. Garnish, if desired.
This is the definition of a good, solid recipe = three stars. It was tasty, light-ish, and easy to make. Didn't bowl me over or even close, but made a good dinner tonight since we were in the mood for something lighter tasting. I used less olive oil to saute, and about 2/3 the butter called for (just cut off a knob of butter about 1 1/2 Tbs). Used whole wheat pasta, and the nutty flavor complemented the asparagus and pecans. My kids didn't care for it, but they don't like anything.
This tasted even better than it sounded. I used a combination of romano and parmesean for the cheese, used (Better Than Bullion) vegetarian broth, and left out the bell pepper (my preference.) I used angel hair pasta, and not a full pound. The flavors complement each other very well; the toasted pecans are such a treat. This makes a well rounded vegetarian meal. Made as directed, it has 575 calories per serving. Next time, I would cut both the olive oil to 1T and the butter to 1T, cut the pecans back to 3/4 cup coarsely chopped ,and use a 12 oz box of pasta. This gets cal per serving down to 430.
It's always fun to do a CL search of ingredients on hand to find out what's for dinner-- tonight's search proved to be most surprising and rewarding! I was suspicious as to whether or not we would like the pecans, but they brought a nice nutty layer to the dish. I prepared it exactly as published, with the exception of using a soy cheese blend of shredded mozzarella, romano and parmesan, which worked beautifully. My husband raved about it, but suggested adding a little bit of Italian sausage next time (of course, he thinks everything would be better with sausage added!). Overall an enjoyable and easy dish that I will absolutely make again.
This dish was outstanding. I first made it as a side for Easter. What a hit! The leftovers are great (even cold) with some grilled chicken or pork on top. I also halved the recipe and added a little bit of roasted red pepper alfredo for a little something extra one night at dinner. Really good! It is a really healthy dish, especially if you use wheat pasta. Definitely one that I will make again and again!
This recipe is amazing. Not only is this simple, but the taste packs some serious flavor! I had wanted to make this recipe mildly for a little while and kept putting it on the bottom of my list, because I kept finding things that sounded more flavorful. Boy was I crazy! I would have made this much sooner had I known! I subbed the pecans for un-roasted walnuts and it was a hit :) Holds well for left overs cold as well!!!!
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