Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ziti with Tomatoes, Asparagus and Basil

Here is a delicious, low maintenance comfort dish to add to your repertoire.  It's the perfect cozy pasta dish to make on a rainy day.  It really hits the spot.  Enjoy :-)

1 pound ziti
~2-3 cups grape tomatoes washed and cut in halves
1 bunch of medium sized asparagus (~1lb) washed and cut in thirds
2-3 cloves fresh garlic crushed
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste (depending on my mood I use red hot pepper flakes sometimes)


1.  After cutting ~1/2 inch off the end of each asparagus spear, blanch by placing them into a pot of boiling water for about 3-5 minutes (the spears are ready when they turn bright green) and then removing them and placing them into a cold water bath (ice water is best).  Then dry the spears.

2.  Saute crushed garlic in olive oil for a few minutes.  Once garlic begins to brown, add tomatoes and asparagus along with salt and pepper to taste and continue to saute:  

3.  Add fresh basil, continuing to saute:

4.  Once the ingredients are cooked to desired level (I cook everything for about 12-15 minutes total), remove from heat and add to the ziti made according to package instructions.  Combine all ingredients well and adjust salt and pepper as needed (I add a little more olive oil here as well).

5.  Serve in bowls topped with freshly grated Parmesan and enjoy this incredibly tasty and satisfying dish.  

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