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Penne with asparagus, sage and peas

This is Week #39 of my 2011 cooking challenge! Click here to view all recipes from this challenge. All recipes created for this challenge come from the Food and Wine Annual Cookbook 2010: An Entire Year of Recipes.

This time of year I am all about comfort food. I have gotten into a routine of making a giant batch of something involving cheese and pasta and then eating it over the course of a few days. On the days when I have a container of comforting yumminess sitting in the fridge at work, I obsess about lunch time. Is 10:30 too early to eat lunch? There is something about crisp fall weather and cheesy pasta that go so well together.

I have been so excited to make this penne dish. I basically kept the entire batch to myself, and I think my family was fine with that. The whole vegetable thing must not have been super appealing to them, which I think is just plain weird.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add 1/2 pound penne pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil.


3 medium garlic cloves, very finely chopped

1 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths

Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Add 2 cups of chicken stock and boil over high heat until reduced by half and the asparagus are tender, about 5 minutes.


2 cups (10 ounces) shelled English peas or frozen baby peas, thawed

1/4 cup heavy cream

Boil over hight heat until the sauce has thickened, 3 minutes. 

Stir in the penne and and cook until heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in:

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Transfer the pasta to bowls and serve immediately, passing additional Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at the table.

A couple notes about this recipe:

I love the addition of sage.

It was super easy to make.

Did I mention it was comforting?

Click here for a printable recipe!

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Reader Comments (9)

I've been known to eat lunch at 10:30 but I try to tell myself that this is what happens when you eat breakfast at 5:30 and use all that energy working hard. :)

This looks very tasty!

09.28.2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi

This sounds fantastic! My family would be the same way about the veggies which would mean more for me and I LIKE that idea!!

09.28.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanet@FCTC

Looks wonderful.

09.28.2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

Penne is my all time favorite pasta! I heart pasta!

09.28.2011 | Unregistered Commenteranna

I'd be looking forward to lunch too! I sometimes love a good recipe that nobody else in my family likes - leaves more for me, and then I don't feel guilty about not sharing.

This looks like just my kind of pasta dish! I totally agree with you - cheesy, creamy pasta dishes make the ultimate comforting lunch.

10.2.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLucy

What a great and easy recipe, was my lunch this sunday, greetings from Chile.

10.16.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSergio

This was really very good and easy to make!! I love that it is healthy and light, but filling at the same time. It doesn't sit heavy in your stomach, which is just perfect for me! My husband enjoyed it every bit as much as I did!!

Yummy - this looks so healthy and delicious. I can't wait to try it! I am going to make this for my Wednesday dinner. I know for me, it will be my main meal, but my hubby will need something a bit more, but I know he will like this as well. Thanks you.

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