8 appetizer servings
Lightly clothed in a garlic-rosemary butter sauce, this delectable pasta dish showcases fresh asparagus. The beautiful spears are roasted to lightly caramelize the tips and give the stalks a just-right crunch. Roasting times will vary according to asparagus width. Turn on oven light and keep an eye on the stalks after 6 or 7 minutes of roasting.
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon coarse salt, such as kosher
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use (see Cook's Note)
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
5 medium cloves garlic, sliced
1 1⁄2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 1⁄2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 pound spaghetti, thick spaghetti preferred
1⁄4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus cheese for optional topping
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Garnish: 8 sprigs fresh rosemary
1. Adjust oven rack to upper third of oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread asparagus on rimmed baking sheet in a single layer; brush with oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast until fork-tender, about 7 to 12 minutes, shaking pan halfway through cooking to redistribute stalks (roasting time varies depending on thickness of asparagus). Cut stalks into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
2. In large, deep skillet melt 4 tablespoons butter on medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until nicely browned, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add chicken broth or vegetable broth and chopped rosemary; increase heat to high
and reduce by half.
3. Meanwhile, bring large pot of salted water to boil on high heat. Add spaghetti and cook according to package directions until al dente (tender with a little bite); drain, reserving 2 tablespoons pasta water.
4. Add pasta and reserved cooking water to butter mixture. Add cheese, 1 tablespoon butter and asparagus. Gently toss. Season with salt and plenty of pepper. Garnish each serving with rosemary sprig.
Nutritional information (per serving): Calories 330, fat calories 100; total fat 11 grams, sat fat 5 grams, cholesterol 15 milligrams; sodium 280 milligrams; total carbohydrates 47 grams, fiber 4 grams, sugars 3 grams; protein 11 grams; vitamin A IUs 15%; vitamin C 8%; calcium 6%; iron 20%.
Cook's Note: If you prefer, substitute half of butter added in step 2 with extra-virgin olive oil.
Excerpted from Melissa's Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce: A Guide to Easy-to-Make Dishes with Fresh Organic Fruits and Vegetables by Cathy Thomas. Copyright 2010. Reprinted by permission of Wiley.