linguine with asparagus and pine nuts

What better way to celebrate spring (even if you live someplace where spring looks an awful lot like every other season….ahem), than dishing up springier recipes.  This one from Real Simple had spring written all over it when I saved it to my recipe box a while back, but we were in the midst of root vegetables and brussels sprouts.  The out-of-season asparagus offered for sale at local grocery stores looked flacid and pale, which didn’t exactly inspire me.  So, I waited until the spring veggies started to appear and I could find firm asparagus with a nice snap when I broke off the lower stems.

This is another recipe calling for stock pantry items.  It goes together really fast, is super flavorful (can you say, cheese??), and looks pretty when plated, too.  My only recommendation would be to throw the garlic in with the pine nuts a minute or so later.  Even at medium heat, I thought the amount of time the recipe called for garlic slices to be in the pan might result in overcooking.  And scalded garlic changes the taste of everything.  Also, I reduced the quantities slightly, to better accomodate dinner for three with no leftovers.  Adapt to your own situation and enjoy!

Linguine with Asparagus and Pine Nuts

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces linguine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup shaved Parmesan (about 3 ounces)

Directions:

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook, tossing occasionally, until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the asparagus mixture to the pasta along with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the Parmesan before serving.
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