Penne with Asparagus, Parmesan & Pecans
Serve this pasta and asparagus dish as the centerpiece of a festive spring menu. Round out the meal with an herb-scented focaccia, a chilled white wine, and a strawberry tart for dessert.
  • 8 ounces penne pasta
  • 1-1/2 pounds asparagus, cut on the diagonal into 1-1/2-inch lengths
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1-1/3 cups water
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch blended with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup minced chives
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pecans, toasted

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

2. Meanwhile, in large skillet, combine asparagus, bell pepper, water, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Cover and cook until asparagus is crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to high, bring to a boil and stir in cornstarch mixture; cook until lightly thickened, about 1 minute.

3. Drain penne and add to skillet along with chives, sour cream and lemon zest, and toss well. Sprinkle on Parmesan and pecans, and toss again.

Nutritional Information
Per serving: 316 calories, 7.3g total fat, 2.8g saturated fat, 2.4g monounsaturated fat, 1.2g polyunsaturated fat, 6.4g dietary fiber, 15g protein, 50g carbohydrate, 8mg cholesterol, 603mg sodium.
Good source of: fiber, folate, manganese, riboflavin, selenium, thiamin, vitamin C.

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

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