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Asparagus: The Sequel

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

My children aren’t any different from other kids. They push the vegetables on their dinner plates to the side--except when they’re grilled. With glorious green spears of asparagus in the market, it takes me less than a moment to decide that grilled asparagus should accompany the night’s entree. But, better yet, buying and grilling extra asparagus can be the basis for an easy pasta dinner the following night.

Whether you’re grilling over a hot fire or using a grill pan in the kitchen, the preparation is the same. Snap off the fibrous bottom end of each spear, trim the whole bunch to a uniform length and peel the spears from below the tip to the base using a vegetable peeler. (If the spears are pencil-thin, don’t bother to peel them). Toss the spears with a little olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill, turning the spears a couple of times, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Grill 15 extra spears for the pasta dinner.

Pasta with Grilled Asparagus, Olive Oil and Shaved Parmesan

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 20 minutes * Easy

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1 pound dried bow tie (farfalle) pasta

15 spears grilled asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup olive oil

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1/3 cup minced parsley

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 cup (3 ounces) shaved or grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

* Cook pasta in plenty of rapidly boiling, lightly salted water until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water in pot for sauce.

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* Return drained pasta to pot. Add asparagus, 1/2 teaspoon salt, olive oil, parsley and pepper to taste. Toss well, taste and adjust seasonings. Add shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, toss just to combine, then divide among individual plates or bowls. Serve immediately.

4 servings. Each serving: 660 calories; 953 mg sodium; 15 mg cholesterol; 26 grams fat; 81 grams carbohydrates; 24 grams protein; 0.54 gram fiber.


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