Penne with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes

Penne with asparagus and cherry tomamtoes

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.

Yields about 4 servings

Penne with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes
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  • 8 oz penne pasta
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 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


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to the package directions until al dente.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

adapted from Cooking Light