Orecchiette with Creamy Asparagus Sauce
Orecchiette means "little ears" in Italian, and these small, concave disc-shaped pastas do resemble little ears. If you can't find orecchiette, use another small, fairly flat pasta shape for this dish, such as farfalle (bow ties).
  • 10 ounces orecchiette
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup low-fat (1%) milk
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1. In large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well.

2. Meanwhile, in large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add asparagus and wine. Bring to a simmer, partially cover, and cook until asparagus is crisp-tender, about 6 minutes.

3. In small bowl, combine flour, milk, and tarragon. Stir milk mixture into skillet and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 3 minutes.

4. Stir in cream cheese, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, and salt and cook, stirring, until cream cheese is melted and sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes.

5. Toss drained pasta with asparagus sauce and Parmesan.

Nutritional Information
Per serving: 391 calories, 9g total fat (4g saturated), 17mg cholesterol, 3.4g dietary fiber (.8g soluble), 58g carbohydrate, 15g protein, 483mg sodium.
Good source of: folate, iron, riboflavin, selenium, thiamin.

Date Published: 09/19/2005 > Printer-friendly Version

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