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Asparagus Pasta With Toasted Pecans

Prep time 15 mins
Cook time 10 mins
Yield Makes 6 servings
You might be tempted to drain off the chicken broth after cooking the asparagus, but we found that's one of the keys to the recipe's flavor.


  • 1 (16-ounce) package penne pasta
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus (about 1 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup pecan halves, toasted and divided
  • Garnishes: freshly grated Parmesan cheese, freshly ground pepper

How to Make It

  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions; rinse and drain.

  2. Snap off tough ends of asparagus, and cut into 2-inch pieces.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.