Penne with Asparagus Cream Sauce Recipe Type : Main Dish Cuisine: Italian Author: Weaver’s Orchard Inspired by Jacqui Debono of The Pasta Project Note: The woody ends of the stalk can be washed and saved to make a tasty vegetable stock.
1 lb penne pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb fresh asparagus, washed and woody ends removed, cut in half
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1–2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
8 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
salt and pepper, to taste
Cook the asparagus for 10 minutes in a big pot with a lot of salted water. When finished, drain but reserve the water to use for the pasta later. Separate the asparagus stems from the spears.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet. Add garlic and onions and cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add spinach and cook until just wilted.
Begin cooking the pasta now, according to the package directions.
Add the onion and spinach mixture and the stalks of the asparagus to a food processor. Blend until smooth. Return this mixture to the skillet and, over low heat, add the cream cheese. Cook until melted. Once the mixture is smooth, combine it with the drained pasta.
Serve bowls of penne pasta with a handful of Parmesan, topped with the remaining asparagus spears.