April 24, 2012

Pasta with Asparagus, Bacon & Pine Nuts

Our asparagus has magically appeared, which means I can try some of the recipes I've flagged in my Cooking Light magazines. It's difficult at times to try new asparagus recipes because it's so delicious simply tossed with olive oil and salt and roasted in the oven or grilled. And I'm not sure there's anything better than asparagus drizzled with olive oil, wrapped in prosciutto, sprinkled with pepper and roasted.

But, I'll never know that for sure unless I try new recipes. This pasta dish comes together quickly with the modifications I made and is a satisfying simple spring dinner.

Pasta with Asparagus, Bacon & Pine Nuts
8 oz. uncooked penne pasta
1 1/2 lbs. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 tsp. minced garlic
3 Tbsp. pine nuts
2 oz. bacon, chopped
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add asparagus during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain, and return to pan. Sprinkle with garlic, and toss to coat.

Meanwhile, heat skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts, and stir constantly until toasted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove pine nuts from skillet, and set aside. Add bacon to skillet, and cook until desired consistency. Drain grease.

In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, whisking until combined. Drizzle over pasta, and toss with pine nuts, bacon and cheese. Serve warm. Makes 4 servings.

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