Penne With Spring Asparagus and Pine Nuts

by Diane Lofshult on May 01, 2007

Nothing says springtime is in full swing better than fresh, green asparagus spears on store shelves. This light and flavorful pasta dish can be served with a tossed green salad and a loaf of crusty whole-wheat bread for a complete dinner that will appeal to both kids and adults.

8 ounces (oz) uncooked penne or pennette (mini penne)

2 teaspoons (tsp) extra-virgin olive oil

2 tsp minced garlic

1/8 tsp crushed red pepper

3 cups (about 1 pound) asparagus, sliced into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup chopped and drained oil-packed, sun-dried tomato halves

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded Asiago cheese

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

Cook pasta according to package instructions, omitting any salt and fat. Drain, and place in large serving bowl.

While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper, then cook 2 minutes while stirring constantly.

Add asparagus, chicken broth and lemon juice to skillet; reduce heat to medium. Cook 5 more minutes or until asparagus is tender. Stir in tomatoes and salt, and cook 1 more minute.

Add asparagus mixture to pasta in serving bowl, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese and pine nuts. Makes four 4 servings (about 11/2 cups per serving).

Per Serving: 369 calories; 10.9 grams (g) fat; 16.2 g protein; 53.4 g carbs; 5.3 g fiber; 12 milligrams (mg) cholesterol; 422 mg sodium; 176 mg calcium.

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© 2007 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Diane Lofshult

Diane Lofshult IDEA Author/Presenter

Diane Lofshult is an award-winning freelance author who specializes in nutrition and weight management topics. She is the founder of In Other Words, an editorial consulting firm based in Solana Beach, California. Reach her at