A Squared: What's For Dinner Wednesday: Pasta with Asparagus, Pancetta, & Pine Nuts

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Pasta with Asparagus, Pancetta, & Pine Nuts

Nothing like a nice relaxing 3-day weekend to make a 4-day week feel like an eternity, right?  I'm exhausted from all that relaxation so the goal for dinner tonight was something easy, budget-friendly, and relatively healthy after all of the BBQing and dining out we did over the holiday weekend.  This recipe hits every note.  I also love this recipe because it uses a lot of the staples that I always keep around-- whole wheat pasta, pine nuts, garlic, lemons, olive oil, fresh parmesan.  I had some leftover pancetta from a previous recipe, picked up some asparagus and there was dinner-- with lunch leftovers too.  Love it!

  • 8 ounces uncooked cavatappi pasta *I used whole wheat rotini
  • 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.

Recipe courtesy of Laraine Perri, Cooking Light

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