We’re starting to transition to spring and around here that means warm one day, cold the next. Sun, rain, snow; you just never know. The good thing is, days are getting longer and I’m starting to see spring vegetables and fruits at the local supermarkets. After many months of enjoying winter vegetables, I’m ready for a change. Fresh asparagus, artichokes and a variety of greens are ready to be used in your favorite spring dishes.
We usually see asparagus used in frittatas, drizzled with olive oil and roasted in the oven or made into cream soups. This meatless pasta recipe for Asparagus Pasta Toss is another great way to serve this very versatile vegetable.
The fresh asparagus, roasted bell pepper, garlic and sliced mushrooms combined with spices and Parmesan cheese to offer a dish full of bright spring flavor. Of course, I always enjoy anything with pasta. This dish is quick and easy to make.
I recommend the sharp, straight-edge 5” Petite Santoku to cut asparagus. The blade length is perfect not only for asparagus, but for slicing and dicing all sorts of smaller fruits and vegetables.
Preheat broiler. Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise, discard seeds and membranes.
Place halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Flatten with your hand. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened.
Place in a re-sealable plastic bag and seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel skin and cut into strips.
Cook pasta per package directions, omitting salt.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and cook for 4 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Add roasted bell pepper, crushed red pepper, salt, marjoram, oregano, black pepper and tomatoes.
Bring to a simmer and cook for 7 minutes. Stir in asparagus and cook 4 minutes or until crisp tender.
Combine mushroom/pepper/tomato mixture, pasta and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese in a large bowl, tossing to combine. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
Barbara Singer is our resident home cook and has been part of the Cutco family since March 1990. Barb has always had an appreciation and love for cooking which she attributes to her Italian mother who was an excellent cook. Barb has her mother’s recipe box which she refers to often. She enjoys trying new recipes and adding touches to make them her own and particularly enjoys baking, considering cheesecake to be one of her specialties. She uses her husband, children and co-workers as taste-testers for the new recipes she tries. Barb says she can count on them to be honest and let her know if it’s a winner or a loser.