Penne with Asparagus, Mint and Pistachios

Penne with Asparagus, Mint and Pistachios

by 12 people

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Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound penne rigate
  • 1/2 pound thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • Ice water
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup unsalted pistachios, toasted
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons EVOO
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlc, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or white balsamic vinegar
  • A handful grated pecorino-romano, plus more to pass around the table
Directions
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
  2. While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, bring 2 inches of water to a boil, salt it, add the asparagus and cook for 3 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking; drain and set aside. Reserve the skillet.
  3. Using a food processor, puree 1/2 cup stock, the mint, parsley, pistachios and EVOO.
  4. In the reserved skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the flour. Stir in the wine and cook until reduced to 2 tbsp. Add the remaining 1 cup stock and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to low. Stir in the lemon juice (or vinegar). Remove from the heat and stir in the pistachio puree.
  5. Add the pasta, asparagus and a handful of cheese to the skillet; toss, stirring in the reserved cooking water to thin the consistency if desired. Season with salt and pepper. Pass more cheese at the table.
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