I’ve never been a huge fan of heavy pasta dishes. Once in a while I will have fettuccine Alfredo or manicotti, but generally, I prefer something like butternut squash ravioli or this fusilli with asparagus, peas and arugula. I like pasta dishes light, with a little bit of cheese and a lot of veggies. This penne pasta dish is the perfect weeknight meal and has all the qualities of a perfect dish. I also found that it was a great way to use up a bunch of the cherry tomatoes and basil from my summer garden.
I will admit that the original recipe called for one egg to whisk together with the cheese to make a thicker sauce. The last time I made this recipe, I wanted to try to lighten up the dish even more so I left it out and I think I like the resulting dish without the egg better.
1 lb. asparagus, tough ends trimmed, and sliced on the bias into 1-2 inch lengths
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ cup parmesan cheese
¼ cup fresh basil
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to the package directions until al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add asparagus and sauté 4 minutes. Mix in garlic and sauté 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are tender, about 6 minutes.
When the pasta is finished cooking, drain and toss pasta with parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Add tomato mixture and toss again. Garnish with basil and serve.