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Lemony pasta with asparagus

Asparagus was on sale and of course I ended up buying it. So now we had asparagus and it was time to try out a new recipe.

(Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker Vegetarian Cooking)

Ingredients:
2 cups uncooked pasta, such as rotini or bow-tie pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 lb fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, lemon zest from one lemon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 frozen lemon cube
1 (14-ounce) can organic cannellini beans

Preparation
1. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package to al-dente consistency. Set aside. (Make sure not to over cook the paste. Also, do not prepare the pasta too early resulting in the pasta to fully cool.)
2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper, asparagus, lemon peel, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender (approximately 10 minutes).
3. Add lemon cube and beans into vegetable mixture. Heat, stirring occasionally, until beans are hot. Add pasta and toss.
4. Sprinkle with freshly grated Asiago cheese, optional.

Lemony pasta with aspargus

Lemony pasta with asparagus

Note: Even though it only contained salt and pasta, the dish turned out very flavorful and “spicy”. Must be the lemon zest and/or the Asiago cheese. I was skeptical at first about adding the beans, but they actually fit nicely with the dish and add extra protein to this dish.

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Fresh Tomato and Asparagus Gnocchi

I love gnocchi, even the store-bought ones. This recipe uses fresh asparagus and tomatoes as well as gnocchi. How could one go wrong?! This recipe is very easy and fast to make. However, it could easily pass for a dish served in a fancy restaurant.

 

Ingredients (Makes 3 large servings)
1 pound fresh asparagus
1 (16-oz.) package gnocchi
½ medium sweet onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil (basil olive oil)
4 garlic cloves, pressed
4 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
½ cup fresh basil, chopped (7 frozen basil leaves)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano

Preparation (Preparation time approximately 30 minutes)
1. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Cut asparagus into 2-inch pieces. Fill a 3-qt. saucepan three-fourths full with salted water. Bring the water to a boil; add asparagus and gnocchi, and cook 2 to 4 minutes or until tender. Drain.

2. Sauté onion in hot oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat 5 to 6 minutes or until tender; add garlic, and cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in basil, salt, pepper, and asparagus mixture. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese; serve immediately.

Note: This dish stores well in an air-tight container and can easily be re-heated in the microwave.

Fresh tomato and asparagus gnocchi

Fresh tomato and asparagus gnocchi

 

Adapted from Yummly
http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Fresh-Tomato-and-Asparagus-Gnocchi-MyRecipes-262435

 

Healthful benefits:
* Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and E, beta carotene, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
* Asparagus is a good source of folate, fiber, vitamin C and E.