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.
Asparagus Pasta With Toasted Pecans
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- 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
- 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.
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