Tomato and Asparagus “Carbonara”

Tomato and Asparagus Carbonara

Toss the pasta and vegetables immediately after cooking. The heat from the pasta will cook the egg, thickening it into a light, creamy sauce.
• Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)
• Hands-on:25 Minutes
• Total:25 Minutes

Ingredients
• 3 quarts water
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 pound (1-inch) diagonally cut trimmed asparagus (broccoli is nice too)
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
• 2 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated (about 1/2 cup)
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 large egg (or 2 egg whites)
• 8 ounces uncooked whole wheat penne pasta
• 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

Preparation
1. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a Dutch oven.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.
3. Add asparagus; sauté 3 1/2 minutes.
4. Add garlic; sauté for 1 minute.
5. Add tomatoes; cook for 6 minutes or until tomatoes are tender.
6. Combine cheese, salt, pepper, and egg in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
7. Add pasta to boiling water; cook 10 minutes or until al dente.
8. Drain and toss pasta immediately with egg mixture.
9. Add tomato mixture, tossing until sauce thickens.
10. Divide pasta equally among 4 bowls. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon basil. Serve immediately.

Wine Match: The bright, dry acidity of a sauvignon blanc will ¬complement the grassy asparagus (and won’t bring out an unflattering metallic taste). Try a fuller-bodied California wine like Simi Winery’s Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc ($14), with crisp lemon and rich tropical notes. –Gretchen Roberts

Cooking Light SEPTEMBER 2012

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