Spicy Pasta with Asparagus

May 10, 2008

My friend Carol gave me this recipe many years ago. I like it because the fresh asparagus makes it a little more special than just a bowl of noodles, while the heat from the red pepper flakes and hot sauce is a little unexpected (but good!). I prefer to make it when I can get my hands on very thin asparagus, about the thickness of a pencil.

Carol’s original recipe calls for the addition of butter (1 tablespoon) and Parmesan or Romano cheese (about 1/4 cup). I left the dairy out this time because I served two pasta dishes for our Mother’s Day lunch today, and the other one was meat. If you leave the butter and cheese out, this dish is just as good served at room temperature (or even cold) as it is hot from the pan.

Spicy Pasta with Asparagus
Adapted from Carol’s recipe

12 oz. pasta (similar in shape to asparagus pieces, such as penne or gemelli)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. fresh young asparagus, trimmed & cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1½ tsp. dried red pepper flakes
2-3 dashes hot sauce
salt & pepper to taste

Prepare pasta according to the package directions.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté asparagus in the oil for 5 minutes, then add garlic, red pepper, and hot sauce. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until asparagus is softened but not mushy.

Add drained pasta to the skillet and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Add additional olive oil, butter, or grated cheese if desired.

Filed under: Pasta,Veggie Mains,Veggie Sides

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  • 1. RecipeGirl  |  May 10, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    Looks great and fresh!

    I love the way gemelli looks in a picture. It’s so pretty :)

    If you ever can’t find those desirous skinny asparagus, just take a peeler and simply peel down your thicker asparagus. You’ll peel off the outer tough exterior and reveal the more tender part underneath (or maybe you already knew that!)

  • 2. Angela  |  May 10, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    This looks fabulous! I love pasta dishes where just a few ingredients lend such big flavor. I can’t wait to try this. Nice work, and great photo!

  • 3. Bonnie  |  May 11, 2008 at 2:03 am

    This looks so yummy !! I adore asparagus ! It’s one of my favorite veggies !!!

  • 4. Jodi  |  May 11, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Looks good!

  • 5. Kevin  |  May 11, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    This sounds nice and simple and looks tasty.

  • 6. patsyk  |  May 11, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    That is such a pretty pasta dish! I’ll have to mark this one to try.

  • 7. Menu Plan Monday, 5/12 - &hellip  |  May 11, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    […] delicious, and I will make it again (it was even better eaten cold as leftovers!). And the spicy pasta with asparagus was a hit as part of our Mother’s Day lunch. I like cooking for larger groups because […]

  • 8. jd  |  May 11, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    This looks lovely!

    Gemelli pasta is so cute, isn’t it?


  • 9. merrie  |  May 12, 2008 at 7:43 am

    This was a big hit here- J wants me to make it again.

  • 10. Khrista  |  May 20, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    This looks so good! I am bookmarking it for later! I LOVE asparagus!


DaraI'm Dara, the Chick in the Kitchen. Living in the suburbs of Manhattan with my two school-aged boys and husband. Feeding my family something more diverse than a different shape of pasta each night. Read more about me and CITK, and keep in touch:

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