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Penne with Asparagus Pesto
Penne with Asparagus Pesto
(Penne con Pesto di Asparagi)
 
 
Ingredients:

1 lb penne or other tubular pasta
1 lb asparagus
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 or 3 medium garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 ounces freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 2/3 cup)

Directions:

In a 6 to 7-quart kettle bring about 5 quarts salted water to a boil for pasta.

Have ready a bowl of ice water.

Trim woody ends from asparagus.

Cut asparagus stalks crosswise into 2-inch pieces, reserving tips.

In a steamer set over boiling water steam stalks, covered, 4 minutes.

Add reserved asparagus tips and steam, covered, until just tender, about 1 minute.

Immediately transfer asparagus to ice water to stop cooking.

Drain asparagus well in a colander and pat dry.

In a food processor pulse pine nuts and garlic with salt until finely chopped.

Add asparagus and olive oil and pulse until asparagus is coarsely chopped.

Transfer pesto to a large bowl and stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Cook pasta in boiling water until 'al dente'.

Reserve 1/3 cup pasta cooking water and drain pasta in a colander.

Add pasta and reserved cooking water to pesto, tossing to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Serves 4 as a main course.

That's it!
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