For everyone who wants to enjoy delicious food AND stay fit and healthy.
Friday, May 6, 2011
Fresh, seasonal ingredients + careful cooking = Great dish
Asparagus is my husband's favorite veggie, and while I like it less frequently than he does, in the springtime it's easier to work into our diet on a regular basis, because it's available from local farms and could not be fresher. The other nice ingredient we've had on hand a lot lately is fresh fennel bulb, which we both like in many preparations (roasted, grilled, raw, etc.). He said, how about combining the two into a dish? This is what I came up with -- the top photo is in the pan, the bottom one on the plate with shaved Parmesan. It was pretty darn delish!
Recipe: Bow-Tie Pasta with Asparagus and Fennel (Serves 2, can be doubled) Ingredients: 2 T olive or canola oil 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and cut into small dice 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional) 12 ounces fresh asparagus, bottoms trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces 1/4 cup (or more) prepared pesto, preferably homemade Salt and black pepper, to taste 1 1/2 cups bowtie pasta, preferably whole wheat, cooked according to package directions Shaved Parmesan cheese, to taste
Instructions: Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add diced fennel and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and stir in garlic, stir-fry for another 3 minutes. Add broth and wine (if using), cover and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, uncover and add asparagus. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, until asparagus is just tender. Be careful not to overcook. Stir in remaining ingredients -- pesto, seasonings and pasta -- cover, and reduce heat to medium. Remove from heat as soon as the mixture is heated through, no more than another 3 minutes. Spoon into serving bowls and sprinkle with the cheese, or pass cheese at the table.
Wine recommendation: Go with a rich white wine such as a buttery chardonnay or a golden-hued viognier or viognier blend (we popped open a white Cotes-du-Rhone, a viognier blend).
My day job is college professor -- of mass communication and journalism, at the University of Cincinnati. I've probably got a few more years to go, and it's a good gig. Love to travel, cook, dine out, and work out.