Pasta In Asparagus-Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

When Spring fever strikes in the kitchen, cook up tasty spring pasta
and sauces.
Pasta In Asparagus-Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
Pasta and Asparagus:
1 T. kosher salt
1 tsp. olive oil
1 pound imported pasta (rigatoni, penne, ziti), cooked, drained
1 lb. asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into 1″ pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large shallots, finely chopped (about ¼ cup)
1½ cups half and half cream
¼ lb. Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
½ cup grated Romano Pecorino cheese
¼ tsp. black pepper
½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

In a large saucepan, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add the salt, oil,and pasta. About 2
minutes before pasta is cooked (after about 6-7 minutes), add asparagus to the pasta
water. Cook for 2 minutes. Pasta should be cooked, and the asparagus bright green.

While the pasta and asparagus are cooking, heat the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the
shallots, cook for 1 minute. Stir in the cream, cheeses, pepper. Cook the sauce for 3-4
minutes, until cheeses are melted and sauce has thickened slightly. (Can be made ahead
up to this point, then reheated just before adding the pasta.) Stir the pasta and asparagus
into sauce cooking just until warmed through, place in serving platter and sprinkle with
parsley. Serves 6-8 as a first course, 4 as a main course.
Pasta Alla Primavera
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced lengthwise, cut into 2″ lengths
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup matchstick carrots
1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, cut into 2″ lengths
1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into thin strips
1 cup petite frozen peas, thawed
1 bunch fresh Swiss chard, washed, tough ends removed, cut into 2″ widths
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth (Kitchen Basics makes a rich broth)
½ cup half and half
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Ground black pepper to taste
1 cup grated Romano cheese
½ cup basil leaves, coarsely chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh chives
1 pound imported 2″ length pasta (penne, mostaccioli, ziti, etc.), cooked “al dente”, drained

While the pasta is boiling, cook sauce. In a large skillet, large enough to hold the pasta and
vegetables, heat the butter and olive oil.
Add the leek; saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, and asparagus. Toss well.
Cook for 3 minutes on medium heat, stirring often. Add the bell pepper, peas, and Swiss
chard. Simmer on low for 2-3 minutes, stirring often to allow the chard to cook evenly.
Add broth, half and half, salt and pepper. Cook for another minute so the sauce thickens
slightly. Toss the drained pasta into the sauce, stir well to combine, and transfer to serving
bowl. Sprinkle with cheese, basil leaves and chives. Serves 6.