Thursday, September 9, 2010

Creamy Asparagus Penne

I am a huge asparagus fan, but don't cook with it much since picky husband doesn't like it. Do you ever get in a rut trying to make meals for a picky person and you forget about the foods you enjoy but don't use -- simply because your dining partner doesn't like them? I think the kids are finally starting to like asparagus which really makes me smile. I know this is an iffy vegetable for lots of people and if my little ones end up adding it to their edible vegetable list I'll be a pretty happy camper.

This is a Rachael Ray dish from her Big Orange Book, which is the only Rachael Ray book I have. I think it was one of those automatic shipments in a book club and I ended up keeping it. I am not one to watch Rachael cooking shows, simply because lots of the meals just don't appeal to me, but every now and then a recipe catches my eye. I have to admit that I used to watch her old show, $40 a Day, which appealed to the travel bug I have, I really enjoyed when she visited places I had been and I got to see a new perspective on a town or city.

Like many food bloggers who have a ton of cookbooks and hope to try something from each one, I pulled out this book and gave Rachael's recipe for "Jaw Droppingly Delicious Asparagus Penne" a try. I have so many cookbooks filled with delicious recipes -- that I have cooked absolutely nothing from. Every now and then I tell myself, no more cookbooks -- but something always catches my eye and I end up with another amazon box on my front porch, oh-well.

Creamy Asparagus Penne
slightly adapted from Rachael Ray's
Jaw Droppingly Delicious Asparagus Penne

1 lb thin asparagus, trimmed of ends
1 lb penne pasta
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
5 cloves roasted garlic, mashed

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup vegetable stock
3/4 cup cream
2 tablespoons honey mustard
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 lemon, juice of
freshly grated parmesan cheese

Steam asparagus to desired doneness, about 5 - 10 minutes depending on thickness of asparagus. Chop into 2 inch pieces and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water. Add the pasta to the water and cook as directed on the package.

To a skillet placed over medium heat, add the olive oil and butter. When the butter melts into the oil, add the garlic, then sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook for 1 minute, constantly whisking. Whisk in the stock, half and half, mustard, and lemon zest.

Season the sauce with salt, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to thicken. Add the lemon juice, and gently toss the asparagus sauce to coat.

Turn off the heat and adjust with salt and pepper to taste, mix the asparagus sauce with the cooked pasta. then top with grated cheese and serve.

What did we think? Well, I made this for just the kids and I when picky husband was working late and everyone seemed to like it after a little coaxing to take the first bite. My oldest son just wanted to eat the asparagus and leave the pasta, and my daughter wanted to eat the pasta and skip the asparagus, but they ended up finishing their plates after they gave it a try. My youngest, who is the unpickiest kid ever, loved it all and I enjoyed it as well. Would I call it Jaw Droppingly Delicious? Hmm, not too sure on that one, but it was certainly very good and I would make it again :)


This is my 1st submission to Presto Pasta Nights which I have been a fan of for the past couple of years but have never participated in myself. This week is it hosted by Nic at Lemon and Cheese, thank you, Nic!


Nic said...

I have way too many cook books too and I still keep buying more, it's good to know I'm not the only one. This dish looks really tasty.

Thank you for sharing it with Presto Pasta Nights

Nichi said...

Ha can I say Yum-0!

Im a cookbook junkie too!

Elizabeth said...

Luckily for me, we both adore asparagus. But I only like locally grown asparagus. So rats. We're going to have to wait til next spring to try this. It looks wonderful! But then, how can you go wrong with cream, garlic and asparagus?

Julie said...

Hi! I am visiting from Pasta Presto Nights. I laughed when I read your paragraph about the cookbooks. That's me exactly, over 100 cookbooks. I don't use 1/2 of them. Then what do I do, order another one. I've started shipping them to work because hubby says not another cookbook? It's an addiction.

This looks delicious. I wonder I can find any decent asaparagus at the store.

Joanne said...

Cooking for a picky eater can definitely be hard! My dad is one and it's IMPOSSIBLE.

I love asparagus also...what a delicious pasta dish!

superman said...

wow...perfectly done...I love it..

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