Saturday, January 29, 2011

Asparagus Pasta - ***BIG HIT***

I knew this one would be a big hit because I've made it before :)  And, because Merlyn was late getting home (which gave me time to cook) and he was very hungry.

I have also stumbled upon the fact that the way to a husband's heart is to make the food easy to eat. I got home early from work, so I had time to visit the store for ingredients, and to cook the Asparagus Pasta.  I also bought a rotisserie chicken, which I deboned and put in the oven to keep warm.  Merlyn *raved* about how wonderful that was, and the Asparagus Pasta as well - the definitive statement was, "I feel like I'm at Olive Garden!!!"

In case you don't know, Merlyn discovered Olive Garden and its wonderful food last year, so this is a really good compliment.

Whenever I think of asparagus, I remember Merlyn's brother Al serving us wonderfully fresh asparagus that he had hunted for in the ditches around his home.  Good job, Al, and good memories!

I couldn't find a comparable recipe online, so here is the recipe and the cookbook comments.  The recipe was provided to the cookbook by Karen Hilmoe, who is a fabulous cook!  As we were eating dinner, we talked about that and it made us realize we need a road trip to Washington to see our dear family and eat some of Karen't great meals.

I always have something to say when I cook, so my comments are underlined.

Asparagus Pasta

I got this recipe from my niece, Nancy Bryson.  We eat it hot tonight then tomorrow as a salad, cold. - Karen Hilmoe

1 Tbsp. (or less) olive oil
4+ cloves of garlic (whatever you prefer) I used chopped garlic from a jar
1/2 red bell pepper
1 bunch of fresh asparagus cut into 1-1 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup walnuts toasted and coarsely chopped I did not toast the walnuts separately
Italian seasoning (to taste)
Red Pepper seasoning (to taste)
1 pkg frozen tortellini or ravioli I used Bertolli three-cheese tortellini from the dairy case
Parmesan cheese to taste

Start water for your preferred pasta.  Cook pasta according to package instructions.  Meanwhile, heat a large skillet and coat with good olive oil.  Add garlic and cook until a light golden brown.  Add asparagus.  Cook until asparagus is nearly fork tender.  Add red pepper and walnuts.  Add seasonings.  Add pasta when it is finished cooking, toss, and top with Parmesan cheese.

Karen Hilmoe

I served it with chicken, and reheated it the second night to serve with more chicken :)  It was delicious both times and tasted the same the second night (the seasonings did not become any more or less intense as sometimes happens with time).


Here's the challenge: I'm going to make each recipe in the cookbook, "Recipes from Columbia Classics Car Club 1992-2002,' Tri-Cities, WA", one recipe per section, and blog about it.  And then I'll go on to the next section.

Next Section: Cakes
Next Recipe:  Almond Joy Cake

I'll be back after it's cooked.  Bon Appetit!

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