Penne with Asparagus, Sage and Peas

During my stay in Dallas, I wanted to cook dinner for two of my friends who have been helping me watch the girls while I’ve been here. . we had a small little, informal dinner party, starting with sushi (made by my dad), cheese and crackers, fresh marinated mozzarella (seasoned with olive oil, herbs and spices; store bought), and fruit. Then, I made a bread (olive oil and rosemary), tomato and basil salad. My friend, Jane, also cooked a delicious flank steak that she had marinated in olive oil, honey, soy sauce and rosemary (among other things. .) for dinner, I made this dish: Penne with Asparagus, Sage and Peas. I highly recommend this dish! It’s very light and can probably accompany anything.

The topic of conversation after dinner was getting healthy and eating less meat and more fruits, vegetables and fish. . so this pasta dish was perfect! And oh yes, we topped off the evening with a trio of desserts: tiramisu, carrot cake and a key lime white chocolate cake (Whole Foods)! It was divine!

Since I had guests over, I was not able to take pictures while cooking but here’s the recipe and final dish. Hope you enjoy!!

Penne with Asparagus, Sage and Peas

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1/2 pound penne
  2. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 1 pound thick asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths
  5. 2 cups chicken stock
  6. 2 cups (10 ounces) shelled English peas or frozen baby peas, thawed
  7. 1/4 cup heavy cream (I recommend you use a little more to make the sauce a little thicker)
  8. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  9. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (make sure the sage is finely chopped so you don’t get a bitter bite of sage!)
  10. 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
  11. Salt and freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and asparagus and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the stock and boil over high heat until reduced by half and the asparagus are tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the peas and cream to the skillet and boil over high heat until the sauce has thickened, 3 minutes. Stir in the penne and cook until heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, sage and the 1/2 cup of cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to bowls and serve right away, passing additional cheese at the table.


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