Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pasta with Asparagus, Pancetta and Pine Nuts

Fresh off my other recent pasta triumph (Lemon Spaghetti) the pasta hits just keep on comin'. This week I made an awesome (and easy) weeknight pasta featuring asparagus, pancetta and pine nuts (oh - and lemon too!):

We are rather enjoying the whole pasta + lemon combination at our house right now. This dish came together with a minimum of prep and fuss - the asparagus cooks with the pasta and you can toast your pine nuts and roast your pancetta on one baking sheet to minimize your dirty dishes. Toss in some lemon juice, olive oil and parmesan cheese and there you have it. Another pasta dish that your husband will think took you more time and energy than it really did. Unless he reads your blog.

Pasta with Asparagus, Pancetta and Pine Nuts from Cooking Light
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.

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

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