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Pasta with Asparagus, Parmesan, and Crispy Prosciutto (or Bacon)

It seems as if I have just been posting sweets on this blog lately, but I promise we really do eat dinner every night!  We usually don’t eat dinner until later when the light isn’t as good, and we’re usually in too much of a hurry to eat for me to get good pictures!

A little while ago I picked up a magazine put out by America’s Test Kitchen called “Fast and Fresh” recipe collection.  Usually the words “fast” or “quick and easy” do not appeal to me when it comes to meals becuase it usually means that it’s a recipe for some awful, Sandra Lee-type, cream of crap containing dish.  But not this collection.  These recipes prove that you can have really delicious dinners that don’t require a whole lot of time and you don’t have to go out and buy a bunch of ingredients because you likely have most things on hand.  We’ve gotten so many amazing dinners from this magazine, and ones that are now part of our rotation that we will make again and again.

This pasta dish was no exception!  This was probably one of my favorites that we’ve tried.  I don’t like asparagus on its own, but in this pasta dish it was a wonderful addition.  This was such a delicious, creamy dish, and was right on for what I had been craving for dinner that night.  I used bacon because I already had it.  You could even leave it out altogether if you don’t eat meat and this would make a great vegetarian dish.  I wouldn’t change a thing about this recipe.  It was perfect, and I can’t wait to make it again!

Pasta with Asparagus, Parmesan, and Crispy Prosciutto

1 teaspoon olive oil

4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into ¼-inch strips (4 finely chopped slices of bacon can be

substituted for prosciutto)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Salt and pepper

1 pound fusilli or penne

1 pound asparagus trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 ½ cups grated Parmesan cheese

¾ cup chopped fresh basil

Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot.  Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until just smoking.  Cook prosciutto until lightly browned and crisp, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to paper towel-lined plate.  Add garlic to pan and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in cream and lemon juice and simmer until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta to boiling water and cook until just beginning to soften, about 8 minutes.  Add asparagus to pot and cook until bright green and tender and pasta is al dente, about 4 minutes.  Reserve 1 cup cooking water, drain pasta and asparagus, and return to pot.  Add sauce, ½ cup reserved cooking water, cheese, and basil to pot and toss to combine, adding remaining cooking water as needed.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle portions with crispy prosciutto.  Serve.

Serves 4

Source: America’s Test Kitchen

5 Responses

  1. Ooh, this looks awesome! I’m a big fan of ATK and I’ll have to star this to try it soon!

  2. That looks fabulous! I really like asparagus in pasta dishes and anything creamy works for me! 🙂

  3. this looks so creamy and delicious. i love ATK recipes

  4. Mmmm creamy pasta asparagus and bacon?! It does not get much better than that, looks so good!

  5. You’re making me hungry! I’ve spent the whole morning snacking on shortbread biscuits, so something savory like this looks like just the ticket 🙂

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