Spring has arrived with its sudden rain showers, blooming daffodils, and tasty asparagus! Here's my asparagus-inspired adaptation of a recipe from the book "The Little Guides: Pasta" copyright 1999. The crisp, green of the fresh asparagus in my version makes for a grand splash of color next to the vibrant red tomatoes and pimento. The original recipe uses scallops and Penne, but Gemelli pasta and asparagus gives this dish a nice twist. Enjoy!
Spring Asparagus Medley with Pasta
1 lb. fresh Asparagus
8 oz. Gemelli or other dried pasta
4 tsp. minced Garlic (We love Christopher Ranch!)
2 T Olive Oil
½ c. Red Cooking Wine
2 tsp. Cornstarch
2 lb. Roma Tomatoes, finely chopped
4 oz. diced Pimento (Check your grocer’s condiment aisle!)
3 T dried Italian Seasoning
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp crushed Red Pepper flakes
Topping: grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Cook to al dente. Drain.
Prepare asparagus. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Meanwhile, snap off woody base of asparagus and discard. Slice into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Add asparagus to boiling water for 8-10 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and drain.
In a large frying pan or stove top wok, mix together red cooking wine and cornstarch. Add in asparagus, minced garlic, chopped tomatoes, diced pimento, Italian seasoning, salt, and red pepper flakes. Cook on medium heat until bubbles start to form and mixture has thickened in texture. Reduce heat to low for 5 minutes. Toss in cooked pasta until well mixed. Serve immediately and top with grated Parmesan cheese if desired. Serves 4.