Thursday, February 7, 2013

Baby Pasta Shells with Asparagus and Marinara Sauce

Here's another recipe that I tried for the first time this week.  It was incredibly simply, and I would almost argue that it took less than 25 minutes to pull together.  I'm all for serving a box of pasta with marinara sauce for dinner, but admittedly feel somewhat guilty about it because carbs coated in tomato sauce doesn't equate to much nutritional value.  The simple act of adding asparagus to the dish made me feel muuuuch better about it! 

Baby Pasta Shells with Asparagus and Marinara Sauce
Adapted from Skinny Taste
Serves 2
Time: 25 minutes
8 oz baby pasta shells
1 bunch thin asparagus, tough ends removed
2 cups marinara sauce
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmesean cheese
salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste

1. Boil about 4 inches of water in a large saucepan, when boiling add asparagus and cook about 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender crisp. Drain and chop into small bite sized pieces

2.  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente.

3. While pasta is cooking, in the same pan as you cooked the asparagus, heat 2 cups marinara sauce.

4. Drain pasta and RESERVE a cup of the pasta water.  Combine pasta, marinara, asparagus, grated cheese, salt and pepper.  Toss to coat. 

5. As needed, add reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce (about 1/4 c).  Serve and top with crushed red pepper and more grated cheese if desired.

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