A touch of butter stirred into the finished pasta helps to bind the delicate sauce. If you prefer not to use wine, substitute unsalted vegetable stock.
8 ounces uncooked whole-grain penne pasta
5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3 green onions, chopped, white and green parts divided
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons butter
1.5 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, grated (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
How to Make It
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta and 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid to pan. Cover and keep warm over low heat.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add asparagus; sauté 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in white parts of green onions and garlic; cook 30 seconds. Add wine; cook 1 minute. Add asparagus mixture, salt, and pepper to pasta mixture. Stir in remaining 2 teaspoons oil, remaining green onions, butter, and cheese. Divide pasta evenly among 4 bowls. Sprinkle evenly with pistachios and mint.
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This was fine, we ate it and mostly enjoyed it, but there was no wow at all. I made the recipe as written but ended up adding more salt and way more cheese to get some real flavor. The pistachios and mint were a nice touch. Not sorry I made it but probably won't make it again.
So tonight my rating was over-ruled. I thought it was just ok. Hubby and 19 year old daughter said they really liked it. Minor change - doubled the garlic, used just butter at the end (vs butter and oil). I also had made a side dish with some sauteed mushrooms and garlic and that went very well with the penne. Meatless Monday is always worthwhile, so I will make it again.
That Penne Asparagus and Mint dish is great because its so customizable. Add sliced mushrooms, sausage, red chili flakes in the oil as it heats. Lots of ways to go. Makes a ton of food AND I think its better with gluten free pasta than whole wheat if you are looking at gluten. Anyway, a total winner.
I made this recipe as part of Easter dinner. All of the flavors were very fresh and springy. The mint was a tad bit overbearing. I would probably back off a little on it next time. I added more pasta water and cheese both of which I think made it better.
We loved this. My 7 year old said it was the best thing I ever made (btw I cook all the time and he loves my food). The nuts were delicious. My husband doesn't like mint so everyone added as much as they wanted to their own plates. Forgot the pasta water but didn't need it. Definately make this one! The dude artichoke salad was just ok - the dressing need something more.
I thought it was quite nice for a simple weeknight meal. I think I over-chopped the mint a bit, making it more like a mince of fresh mint, and I think it negatively affected the texture and flavor. Next time, make it more of a chop and less of a mince. Also, the Baby Green and Artichoke Salad was a nice accompaniment, but like so many of CL's side salad recipes, it had far too little dressing. Make sure to prepare twice the amount of dressing and then dress to taste.