Sunday, July 13, 2014

Asparagus and Marinated Tomato Pasta


Summer is the time of year where people want light foods that they can take to a picnic.  They want feel-good foods that don’t make them feel heavy, bloated, or weighed-down.  Well, I have a dish that just about sums up summer in a nutshell.  It’s my Asparagus and Marinated Tomato Pasta.  Pasta can be heavy, but this one doesn’t have any heavy sauces or creams.  It’s light and it highlights every one of the ingredients in a simple and flavorful way.



This recipe was very much inspired by a dish that Barefoot Contessa makes.  I made a few changes (like adding asparagus to kick up the health component a bit).  Tomatoes are extremely versatile, and although I don’t necessarily like tomatoes plain, I don’t necessarily need them cooked either.  This recipe marinates tomatoes for hours in an oil, garlic, and basil mixture.  The salt pulls out all of the juices, softens the tomatoes, and acts as the base for the very light sauce that is featured in this dish.  Ahhh…summer :)





Asparagus and Marinated Tomato Pasta
Insipred by Barefoot Contessa

16oz cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/3 c olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 c basil leaves, julienned
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
½ lb dried cavatelli pasta
½ c (or more) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 bunch of asparagus tips

Add tomatoes, ¼ c olive oil, garlic, basil, crushed red pepper, ¾ tsp salt, and ¾ tsp pepper to a large bowl.  Stir and set aside for 3-4 hours.



Heat a grill pan to medium heat.  In a large bowl, mix asparagus tips with remaining olive oil, salt and pepper.  Cook on grill pan until bright green and grill marks start to form.  Remove from pan and cut into 1” pieces.




Just before serving, cook pasta according to package directions in salted water.  Add tomato mixture, grilled asparagus, and cheese to large bowl and mix well.  Serve at any temperature.





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