Be sure to check out the giveaway I'm doing. You could win a coupon for a free 4-pack of Yoplus or Yoplus light, an on-the-go lunch container with utensils, an insulated lunch bag, and a pedometer. In addition to having a place to store utensils and a napkin or two, the lid doubles as a gel freezer pack to help keep your lunch fresh. The drawing is at 9 p.m.Central on Tuesday.
Asparagus is back in season! That is definitely worth a "Woot"! The price in area stores has dropped from about $3 a pound to less than $1.50 a pound. I had to have some. And, since we all know that everything goes better with pasta and red sauce, I turned it into a "Meatless Monday" primavera. I combined the asparagus with onion, garlic, mushrooms, celery, tomato and red wine, mixed it with some whole wheat linguine and topped it all off with a little good Parmesan and smoked fontina cheese.
For me, the joy of a primavera is that you can use any combination of vegetables you like or that are in season at the time. A bold red wine and a smoked cheese are like bookends for the fresh rough-cut vegetable flavors. This version worked out to only 339 calories with 6 grams of fat and 10 of fiber for a huge, filling bowl.
Rustic Asparagus Primavera with Fontina and Parmesan
Makes 4 servings
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced
1 pound asparagus, tough ends removed and chopped into 2-inch pieces
2 medium stalks celery, chopped
5 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 can no-salt-added diced tomato
2/3 cup bold red wine
1 tablespoon no-salt-added tomato paste
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
7 ounces (dry) whole wheat linguine
4 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese (divided)
4 tablespoons smoked fontina cheese (divided)
Put water for pasta on to boil
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add onion and saute until just tender. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add asparagus, celery, mushrooms, oregano and fennel and saute for several minutes.
Add tomatoes, wine, and tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste, bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer, cover.
Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions.
Just before pasta is al dente, strain (do not rinse) and mix in with sauce. Let pasta finish cooking in sauce.
Serve topped with one tablespoon each of Parmesan and fontina.
Deal of the Day: I'm just starting to get into making my own pasta. It's actually a lot of fun and not very hard with a good pasta machine. This pasta machine is the one I use and really like it.