Pasta with Asparagus, Pancetta, and Pine Nuts

<p>Pasta with Asparagus, Pancetta, and Pine Nuts</p>
Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr

Pasta is the perfect weeknight meal. Your family will love the comforting flavors, and you'll love that it's surprisingly low in calories.


4 servings (serving size: about 2 cups)

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Recipe Time

Prep: 40 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Calories 385
Fat 14.3 g
Satfat 3.9 g
Monofat 5.2 g
Polyfat 2.8 g
Protein 14.9 g
Carbohydrate 47.2 g
Fiber 3.6 g
Cholesterol 15 mg
Iron 3.6 mg
Sodium 584 mg
Calcium 113 mg


8 ounces uncooked cavatappi pasta
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons pine nuts
2 ounces diced pancetta
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; add asparagus to pan during last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain. Sprinkle pasta mixture with garlic; return to pan, and toss well.

3. Arrange pine nuts in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 3 minutes or until golden and fragrant, stirring occasionally. Place in a small bowl.

4. Increase oven temperature to 475°.

5. Arrange pancetta on jelly-roll pan. Bake at 475° for 6 minutes or until crisp.

6. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over pasta mixture; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with pine nuts, pancetta, and cheese.


Pine nuts are particularly delicious in this dish, but walnuts would also be tasty.