Pasta with Asparagus, Mini Tomatoes and Buttermilk Cream Sauce

Light, summery, bikini ready pasta and a cream sauce at that!! This recipe was a total experiment from my kitchen and it was delish! Fresh vegetables, comforting pasta and a slightly tangy, very creamy sauce that is good for you due to the buttermilk, whole wheat pasta, part skim ricotta and just a little bit of grated cheese. The guys in my house loved it….of course it was served with grilled burgers and there is a chance they loved the burgers more. But, I will say, later that night when there was pasta leftovers and a leftover hamburger Travis went for the pasta and left the hamburger there! Enough said!

I like to call cherry tomatoes, “mini” tomatoes because it’s cuter. It makes me think of mini chocolate chips and I get excited and want to eat more mini tomatoes 🙂

Pasta with Asparagus, Mini Tomatoes and Buttermilk Cream Sauce

Ingredients

  • 8 ounce package whole wheat thin spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 package asparagus, ends trimmed and pieces cut into thirds
  • 1 pint mini (cherry) tomatoes, halved
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup hot pasta cooking water, reserved
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • zest of one lemon

Method

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat for the pasta. Salt the water and add the pasta once it boils. Cook the pasta slightly less than al dente because it will finish cooking after being added to the sauce. In the meantime prepare vegetables. Trim the ends from the asparagus and slice into three equal pieces. Slice tomatoes. Mince shallot and garlic.
  • Once all the vegetables are ready, heat oil over medium heat in large skillet. Add the shallots and garlic to the skillet, season with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally. Add asparagus and cook for 6-8 minutes stirring every minute or so. Add buttermilk to a small saucepan and heat but do not bring to a boil. Add tomatoes to skillet, then add cooked spaghetti noodles, about 1/4 cup of the pasta water and the heated buttermilk. Toss together with tongs. Let simmer on medium-low heat for a minute or two then add the ricotta and the grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese and stir again. If pasta sauce is too thick add a little more of the reserved pasta. Check seasoning to see if any salt and pepper are needed. Top with the grated lemon zest. Serve warm.
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