Thursday, May 3, 2012

Asparagus and Pasta--Spring on the Table

I never ate asparagus for my mother.  
Growing up in the south, my sisters and I were introduced to a wide variety of
vegetables at an early age.  A pot of overcooked (for some tastes)
green beans with new potatoes and summer squash 
steamed on top was (and still is) a real treat.  Sunday dinner sometimes included as many as five,
sometimes more, vegetable dishes.

Asparagus came from a can.
Asparagus from a can is--well,  it is a word that
I never allowed our boys to use in describing food.

It was well into adulthood before I tried asparagus.
Even then I, in my first attempts, overcooked the green stalk.

The fact that asparagus is high in folate, potassium and vitamin C is an added bonus.
And, the fresher the better.

A few days ago, I found a basket of these perfect spears on the front porch.
"Asparagus for dinner" I called out to The Baker.  I'm still a bit indisposed and a lot spoiled.
He came through with flying colors.
I think it's the best, yet, asparagus and pasta dish!

Pasta with Asparagus, Tomatoes and Feta a combination of two Chicago Tribune recipes

2 pounds asparagus
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 ounce chunk of Parmesan, grated

1.  Snap off woody bottoms of the asparagus and peel the stalk.  Cut on the diagonal into 2 inch pieces.
2.  Place the asparagus into a bowl with the olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well and allow to stand fifteen minutes.
3.  Spread the asparagus in one layer on a baking.  Roast in a 500 degree oven about ten minutes, shaking the pan a few times during that time.
4.  Transfer the asparagus and any juices back to the bowl.  Add more salt and pepper to taste, stir in the Parmesan and set aside.

8 ounces penne pasta (cooked according to package directions)
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 each, halved red and yellow tomatoes
1/2 cup each crumbled feta and freshly grated Parmesan
salt and pepper
6 basil leaves, thinly sliced

5.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat; stir in the garlic and tomatoes.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are slightly softened and the garlic is golden--about five minutes.
6.  Stir in the cooked and drained pasta.
7.  Stir in the asparagus, the feta and the parmesan.  Garnish with the basil.



  1. Oh how I'd LOVE to find a basket of asparagus on my porch!!! You lucky girl:@)

  2. looks delish to me. i love asparagus in the can. we have it once a week. right out of the can, i just lay it on the plate and we love it. we were the same as you when i was growing up. daddy grew all our food, we only bought staples. and there were always several bowls of veggies on the table. for some reason daddy never grew asparagus.

  3. I grew up hating asparagus and it's hard to get over that. Maybe my mother didn't break off the woody end of the stalks. I do enjoy it now when others cook it right. Maybe this recipe will actually enable me to cook it properly! This sure looks delicious!

  4. I grew up hating asparagus and it's hard to get over that. Maybe my mother didn't break off the woody end of the stalks. I do enjoy it now when others cook it right. Maybe this recipe will actually enable me to cook it properly! This sure looks delicious!

  5. Such a charming and delightful combination of colors on a plate. Allow me to congratulate you on your work here on your blog, it's beautiful :).

  6. What a great way to eat asparagus. I always liked it when growing up, but never had canned. Actually my daughter has never had any canned vegetable from my kitchen, just corn once in a blue moon, but is that a vegetable? lol! :) My sister lived up north in Michigan and when asparagus season came around many co-workers took the time off to work in the fields picking asparagus...The first time she enjoyed it when it was that frsh!

  7. this is such a pretty dish as well as tasty! Take care,

  8. Can you believe I have never tried asparagus? I have heard that is an acquired taste and is strong. My DIL makes some kind f wraps with it that includes ham. But even Anne Marie likes it! This looks so pretty...did you ever find out who gave it to you, what a nice surprise!

  9. I love pasta with asparagus - it just seems to go together.

  10. Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. I tend to steam it, but I also love to roast it with parmesan sprinkled over it. Oh, Bonnie, I so remember those green beans and new potatoes cooked with bacon fat and just a dash of sugar. Oh I know the old southern cooking is not good for us, but does hold so many wonderful memories of sitting around the supper table. Bonnie

    p.s. I do remember asparagus from a can with a sauce of mayo and dijon spooned across the top. It was my introduction to the vegetable.

  11. I don't recall my mother ever serving asparagus. They say I ate it as baby food, but I don't remember. But I do know it definitely came from a can when I was growing up and even when I was a newly wed.

    Funny 'cause now it's one of my favorite vegetables and I serve it all of the time.

  12. Sounds marvelous. I adore fresh asparagus but Farm Boy won't touch it with a ten foot pole! Booger!!!

    Have yourself a bountifully blessed day sweetie!!! :o)

  13. My mom had a huge asparagus patch when I was growing up, but I only grew to love it in my late teens. Now I'll eat it any chance I get!

  14. That would be delicious --but I'd want to add some grilled chicken to mine...

    I do love asparagus --but don't eat it very often...

    Thanks for the recipe.

  15. I love asparagus! For some reason, there were huge patches of wild asparagus along the roads near our family home and my mother always knew where to find them in the spring.

    Mmmmm, delicious spring pasta recipe!

  16. That sounds divine! I adore asparagus and we eat them often. This pasta dish sounds so good! I believe I know what I am having for dinner soon!!!!

  17. I love asparagus and love this kind of recipe' simple, fresh, healthy and served on pasta.

  18. sounds amazing Bonnie I love asparagus and this dish sounds delicious!!!

  19. I had to smile at this post Bonnie. Growing up the only veggies I ate were cucumber and carrots - i.e. raw veggies.

    Um, turns out my mom overcooked all the other veggies and that's why I never liked them. The first time I had asparagus was when I was 32 - having dinner with my now husband at Smith & Wollensky and he ordered some as a side.

    I declared that I didn't like asparagus, but when I saw those bright green beauties they didn't look like the asparagus I knew as a child.

    Now it's weird if I dont' have asparagus, broccoli, zucchini and baby spinach on hand!

    That dish looks delicious - happy Friday and have a great weekend!

  20. This sounds really good. We love asparagus.

  21. How perfect is that? I love the asparagus this time of year and love reading about one more delicious way to serve it. Looks delicious!

  22. Lucky find on the front porch!! I love asparagus any way from raw to roasted and even (don't faint) straight out of a can. This recipe sounds like a keeper!

    Bonnie, your description of the beans and new potatoes and squash brought back lots of good memories. ;) blessings ~ tanna

  23. Mmmm...that looks wonderful!

  24. This sounds wonderful and begs to be tried. It probably will be :-). Have a wonderful weekend, Bonnie. Blessings...Mary

  25. This sounds great -- I just harvested some today. :)


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