As an alternative, I roasted asparagus with cherry tomatoes and garlic. Roasted asparagus or any vegetable really, surprisingly taste nothing like their boiled or steamed counterparts. The oven transforms it into a nutty, aromatic and refreshing goodness. This was my first time making it and I am hooked; I liked it so much I munched on it while waiting for pasta to finish cooking.
And then there was the garlic. For those that don’t like it, garlic is like diamond in the rough. (You liked that, didn’t you?) Raw or sautéed garlic is strong and has a sharp bite therefore it isn’t appreciated by everyone. (shame on you!) So why the metaphor? Roasting heightens garlic’s sweetness and smooth flavor so you’ll fall head over heels for it. more or less. It’s a great addition to pasta dishes, mashed potatoes, and can be mixed into dips like hummus and baba ganoush. (if you look closely, there's a clove amongst the pasta.)
Pasta with Asparagus, cherry tomatoes and garlic
1 bunch of Asparagus spears
1/2 pound Cherry Tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
good olive oil
1/4 package of any long pasta- spaghetti, fettuccine, or linguine will do
4 tbsp Butter, divided
1 tsp Red pepper flakes
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt, to taste
Slivered Almonds, optional (I like them for the crunchy texture)
Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Snap off the woody ends off of the asparagus spears. Add asparagus, tomatoes and garlic to a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt and combine to coat.
Roast the vegetables in the oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on your oven. Meanwhile cook the pasta in large pot of boiling water until al dente.
After taking the vegetables out of the oven, allow to cool. Using kitchen shears, cut asparagus in half or thirds. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a medium pan on low heat. Mash garlic with fork and add to the pan with melted butter, cook for 30 seconds, then add cherry tomatoes and asparagus. Drain pasta and add it immediately to the pan with garlic and vegetables. Add additional 2 tbsp of butter, red pepper flakes, sea salt and grated parmesan. Combine and cook until everything comes together, about 3 minutes. Finally, add last of the butter and mix. Serve warm and if using, sprinkle on slivered almonds.
This was a light meal for me, yet substantial for the husband. a perfect combination.