A beautifully simple garlicky cream sauce, roasted asparagus and whole wheat penne come together for an excellent vegetarian meal.
For the pasta
- 1 lb dry penne pasta
- 1 1⁄2 lbs fresh asparagus
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
For the Sauce
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- 1⁄4 cup white wine
- 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 cup skim milk
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 4 ounces aged gouda cheese, shredded
- salt and pepper
- 2 ounces walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
- Prepare pasta according to box directions.
- While pasta is cooking, wash asparagus, break off the woody stems and arrange on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Broil for 5-10 minutes until the asparagus is tender (to your personal taste). Once cooked, chop asparagus roughly and toss it with drained pasta in a large serving bowl.
- Melt butter in a sauce pan and add garlic, sauteing until it is turning golden and fragrant. Remove from heat.
- Whisk in wheat flour to form a roux, being careful to avoid any lumps. When it is perfectly smooth, add white wine, whisking to incorporate.
- Return saute pan to the heat, allow alcohol to evaporate (should take about 30 seconds) and immediately whisk in heavy cream.
- Continuing to whisk, add shredded Gouda and stir gently until it melts. Once melted, add remaining ingredients and bring to temp., or just until the sauce begins to bubble.
- Pour sauce over pasta and asparagus. Toss and garnish with toasted walnuts, if desired.