This recipe may have a few more steps than is really convenient, but let me tell you - it's probably worth it. It just may be my new favorite asparagus recipe. The flavors are incredible, and it's definitely doable for any cook, as long as you are good at multitasking. It also makes for a huge and filling serving for relatively low calories.
Penne with Asparagus, Bacon, and Tomatoes
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
6 oz uncooked whole-wheat pasta
2 slices uncooked Center-Cut bacon
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp fat-free sour cream
1/4 tsp salt
pinch black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add asparagus and cook for 2 minutes until bright green. Remove with a slotted spoon; immediately submerge into cold water to stop them from cooking. Drain cold water and set aside.
Using the same pot and boiling water you just cooked the asparagus in, cook pasta according to package directions. When pasta is done, drain but reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine tomatoes, parsley, and vinegar. Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon to desired doneness. Remove with a slotted spoon and chop, set aside. In remaining bacon drippings, add onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add cooked pasta to skillet, toss to coat thoroughly and turn heat to low.
Add lightly beaten egg, salt, and pepper to pan; toss well. Stir in sour cream and about 1/4 cup pasta water. Add asparagus pieces, bacon, tomato mixture, and cheese. Gently toss so the sauce and cheese are well distributed. Make sure the dish is heated evenly and serve. Enjoy!
Makes 4 servings.