We just recently finished our vegetables/healthy cooking block in school and one thing I learned (among many) is that there are thousands of ways to prepare vegetables. My favorite: roasted, on a bed of pasta, covered in a creamy sauce. The asparagus in this dish really packs a lot of flavor and the zest adds a refreshing quality.
For those health conscious people, roasting vegetables (generally with just a little olive oil, salt, and pepper) is a good way to bring out flavor without compromising your diet by adding extra carbs and fat. This recipe is less health conscious, however, and more of a splurge. To make it a little more healthy use whole wheat pasta, less cheese, and substitute a low-fat bechamel sauce for the cream.
- 4 ounces dried fettuccine or 9-ounce fresh pasta.
- 1 cup 1-inch pieces fresh asparagus
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- Bring a pot of salted water up to a boil. Add the pasta and cook accordingly.
- Toss the asparagus in the olive oil, salt, and pepper and place on a sheet pan in a preheated 400 degree oven. It won’t take long for the asparagus to roast (about 5-7 minutes).
- Place the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once it has melted, whisk in the cream. Allow the cream to come to a simmer and then take it off the heat and mix in the cheese.
- Once the pasta and asparagus are done cooking toss them into the cream sauce along with the lemon zest.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary.
*** If you allow your vegetables to soak in slightly cool water for about 20 minutes before preparing they will be crispier.