Trying something new today, folks!
I made this last night on a midnight whim (I get off work quite late), and I replicated it tonight at the behest of my husband, who had two bites and had to sit down yesterday evening. I was quite flattered by his reaction.
This recipe is relatively fast, definitely easy, and only has about six ingredients. Sorry the picture quality isn’t magnificent. I used my phone instead of my DSLR because I was lazy and hungry. But mostly hungry.
1/2 bunch asparagus, chopped in 1.5 inch pieces (about 10-15 thin spears)
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
extra virgin olive oil (We keep some in a cruet with a bunch of herbs and pepper in it — easy and delicious!)
3 tbsp butter
3/4 cup light cream
1 package whole wheat linguine (I like Barilla.)
Salt and pepper (preferably sea salt and hand-ground pepper)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
Ready? Here we go!
Heat water in a large pot for the pasta. You can salt it if you want. While that’s heating, chop your asparagus and halve your cherry tomatoes.
Heat a large pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil. The temperature should be medium-high to high. Once the oil is hot, toss in the asparagus.
Cook the asparagus until it is bright green and crispy with a little char to the edges. Your pan should be sizzling and popping throughout this little endeavor, and you want the flavor of the char for the sauce. Trust me. Once the asparagus has been successfully crisped, plop it onto a plate for a while and return your pan to the stove.
Add the tomato halves, cut side down. And do be careful with this step. Your pan should still be very hot, and if there’s a lot of remaining oil, it will pop and burn you.
By this time, your pasta water should be about ready. Go ahead and toss in your linguine.
While that gets cooking, chop up your garlic if you haven’t already. Make it nice and fine. I use four cloves, because I have a love affair with the stuff. Add more or less to your taste. When the tomatoes have a nice char on the pan side, throw in your butter and reduce the heat to medium-low. When the pan cools and the butter stops hissing (it should be nice and caramelized), add the garlic.
Go ahead and swirl the contents of the pan around until the tomatoes are unstuck and everything is coated in delicious butter. When the garlic is nice and soft, toss the asparagus back into the pan.
Allow those flavors to cook together for a couple minutes at a low simmer. Check on your pasta to see what it’s doing at this point.
It’s probably not quite ready yet, so go ahead and add the light cream to your pan of veggies.
Swirl or stir the sauce until the veggies are coated in the cream. Keep at a low simmer, barely bubbling until the pasta has finished cooking. I prefer my pasta a nice al dente, but if you like yours more cooked, feel free to leave it in a bit longer.
Once the pasta is cooked to your liking, drain it, then add it to the large pan with the sauce.
With a pasta fork, gently turn the pasta in the pan to mix the vegetables. Be careful of the tomatoes, which will burst easily if they get squished. You can preserve their shape nicely if you use an easy hand to toss the linguine in the sauce.
Using your trusty pasta fork, go ahead and dish up! You can serve this with a salad, or an interesting chilled soup, or if you’re like me, some buttered toast or garlic bread. Who doesn’t like carbs with their carbs?
Yes. I did eat all that.